Tuesday, November 30, 2021 Edition

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021/ Rabi’ul Thani 25, 1443 AH Vol. 38 No. 089 N200


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Sokoto set to unveil world-class advanced medical diagnostics centre >>>PG 6

Terrorism: Northern elders warn against profiling Fulani PG 5

Nigerian Correctional Service van evacuating some attackers of the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos yesterday.

APC: We havn’t zoned national chairmanship position to North-central -Akpanudoedehe


2023: Atiku calls for unity among Nigerians

Alleged nude photos: Court fixes Jan 17 for ex Gov Ohakim’s arraignment

IATF 2021 generates US$42.1bn Trade and Investment Deals

Fintiri donates N27m to families of slain General, 7 others









Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-20 21

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


2023: Atiku calls for unity among Nigerians From David Hassan, Gombe


ormer Vice president Atiku Abubakar has called on Nigerians to work together to restore the country’s lost glory in

2023. Atiku who was in Gombe on Monday to attend the north-east business communities for Atiku 2023 said time has come for Nigerians to change the country for the better.

He said this administration’s failure must be addressed. According to him, “I have been in politics for the past 29 years, but I have have never seen a situation where citizens of the country are

suffering. “I thank the north-east business communities for recognising me, and most importantly for inspiring me to contest in the forthcoming Presidential election in 2023”.

COREN begins evaluators training for Outcome-Based Education By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


n order to produce graduates with the required skills to excel in the workplace, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has began training programme for evaluators for the Outcome Based Education (OBE) system in Nigeria. The two days training workshop which took place yesterday at the Nigerian Turkish, Nile University Abuja,drawn stakeholders across the country . Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme,the president COREN Engr . Ali Rabiu, said the workshop was to train and equip programme

evaluators of the OBE who would form COREN database for accreditation of Engineering programmes. Rabiu explained that,every aspect of the accreditation process have been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation. He said, “In Nigeria, accreditation is necessary for recognition of programmes and registration of engineering graduates as professional engineers. He emphasized that,the goal of the workshop is to train and equip programme evaluators of OBE who will form COREN database for accreditation of engineering programmes.

“Every aspect of the accreditation process has been streamlined to enhance the credibility of the evaluation. Contrary to earlier practice, there is no quantitative mechanism for final decision making. Therefore, programmes under accreditation must sustainably comply with the requirements in all areas of evaluation.” “Every action of the evaluators must be driven by responsibilities and conducts, according to the stipulated code of ethics for evaluation. Constituency amongst various accreditation team members in terms of evaluation and final recommendation must be maintained,”he said .

According to him, the COREN Outcome Based Education regional train the trainers workshop have been successfully held in three geopolitical zones, which includes; North West zone at Amadu Bello University, Zaria Kaduna (20th-24th of Sept 2021), South South zone at University of Benin, Edo State. 11th-15th of Oct 2021, and South East zone at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) (16th-20th Nov 2021). The president said the workshop was to train participants to acquire the knowledge and skills of OBE, “and be able to train others in the principles and implementation of OBE in Nigerian Universities.”

Sokoto Govt. to unveil world-class advanced medical diagnostics centre Page 6



Feature 26 Sports 30-31 Back Page


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Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya during a courtesy visit by the COAS to the Governor in Gombe, yesterday.

Ameachi promises to regulate roads transport in Nigeria By Albert Akota


he Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi has promised to regulate road transport systems across the country. Disclosing this yesterday at International Conference organized by the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) in Abuja, he said that the road transport system in Nigeria was under regulated.

The Minister who was represented by the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen Gbemisola Saraki said “it is common knowledge that the road is largely under regulated.” According to him, the Road Transport Transformation Programme is on course, and a draft Executive Order (EO) is being fine-tuned by Committee of stakeholders to drastically transform the current narrative of the road subsector.

“Government has upgraded the road stock by deploying innovative funding approaches for strategic road projects which includes, the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) which is investing over a billion dollars in three flagship projects, the LagosIbadan Expressway, the Second Niger Bridge, AbujaKadunaZaria-Kano Expressway and the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI)”

she stated. Speaking earlier, DirectorGeneral of NITT, Dr Bayero Salih acknowledged the infrastructure deficits in the transportation sector in the country and called for the private sector participation to close the gap. “There is urgent need to explore the option of private participation in the funding of transportation infrastructure development.”



NEWS By Folorunso Abuja

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnam



he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said yesterday that a total of 4,420,391 Nigerians have registered under the ongoing continuous voter registration, CVR, exercise. This was confirmed in a weekly update released Abuja by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi. The number of completed online and physical registration, according to the update, stands at1,971,617. While the number of male completed registration is 996,902, that of the female completed registration is 974,715. The figure of persons living with disability completed registration is 19,783. The number of youth between 18 to 34 years, who have completed registration, is 1,406,560. According to Oyekanmi, “Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) weekly update: quarter 2, week 8, as at 7am on Monday 29th November 2021 is: *Fresh Registrants: 4,420,391

CVR: 4.4m Nigerians register *Completed Online & Physical Registration: 1,971,617 *Male (Completed Registration):

996,902 *Female (Completed Registration): 974,715

*Persons Living With Disability (Completed Registration): 19,783. *Type of Registration (Online -

COVID-19 Pandemic: AMAC set to vaccinate 972,000 persons By Usman Shuaibu


he Administration of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has concluded arrangements to vaccinate about 972,000 persons across the vaccinated centres in the territory on COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Chairman of the Area Council, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido who disclosed this while delivering his keynote address during the flag-off ceremony of COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign in Mabushi

Primary Healthcare Centre. Candido, who was represented by his vice-chairman, Hon Lawrence Onuchukwu said: “COVID-19” is a communicable respiratory disease caused by a new strain of Corona virus that causes sickness in human body. “It is a disease that spreads very rapidly from infected person to the vulnerable people through fluid or droplets during sneezing, coughing and touching your eyes, nose and mouth”. “The spread of the disease is like a wild fire and capable of killing so many people at a time. It is neither a disease for the white

nor black or rich man disease as some of us insinuated. “It is a worldwide disease that kills both the rich and the poor and also the black and white alike, that is why WHO declared it pandemic”. The Chairman said: “The Council in collaboration with FCT Primary Healthcare Board and all our partners made concerted efforts to ensure that we save over 1.5million lives within FCT in 50 days”. He said his leadership would provide the necessary support to ensure the victory of the campaign against COVID-19 pandemic,

Lalong condemns attack on Jos correctional center From Yusuf Shekarau, Jos

pointing out that out that the Council would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to actualise its goals. Candido, however, solicited the support of the traditional and religious leaders, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to take the campaign to the grassroots. On their parts, the Executive Secretary in charge of the FCT Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo as well as the Head of Department in Charge of Health in AMAC, Dr Modupe Adeyinka, charged the residents to come out to get vaccinated during the exercise.

L-R: Director of Information, Naval Headquarters , Commodore Suleiman Dahun, Chief of Administration, Naval Headquaters, Rear Admiral Francis Isaac, Representative of the CNS / Chief of Policy and Plans Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Christian Ezekobe and the Chairman Organizing Committee, “Sea Power Africa Symposium 2021”, Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan, during the International Press Conference on the Virtual Sea Power for Africa Symposium 2021, held at the Naval Headquarters yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo



he Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has condemned in strong terms the attack on the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos. It would be recalled that gunmen on Sunday stormed the facility in large numbers with sophisticated weapons. Governor Lalong while condemning the unfortunate incident praised the gallantry of officers and men of the Jos Custodial Centre who rose to the occasion to thwart the plans of the criminals whose mission was to facilitate the escape of inmates and also cause destruction to the facility. Lalong also praised the quick reaction of other security agencies including the Police, Operation Safe Haven, DSS, NSCDC and Operation Rainbow who swiftly took charge of the general area leading to entrapment of the assailants as well as arrest of fleeing inmates. While describing the sad event as one too many in the nation’s correctional system, Lalong said it was high time a holistic approach is applied in bringing such attacks and jail breaks to an end in order to guarantee the safety of inmates, correctional officers, and the larger society from criminals who choose to attack the very essence of Nigeria’s legal system by disrupting law and order.

793,424 and Physical - 1,178,193) *Youth (18- 34 years): 1,406,560.

NSCDC places high premium on welfare of personnel - CG By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Abubakar Audi, said he places high premium on the welfare of personnel, knowing undoubtedly that to build a virile, dynamic and productive workforce, conscious efforts must be made to motivate the staff towards putting in their best for more dedicated service. In view of the above, the Commandant General who is barely eight months in office, has stressed that he will leave no stone unturned to ensure high welfare packages for officers and men of the corps through a robust and well-structured plan to increase personnel morale. A statement issued on Sunday by NSCDC Spokesperson, Olusola Odumosu said Audi who

has stressed it in different fora that his roadmap for the Corps cannot be compromised having established the template of his planned thoughts and possible action to follow in line with his avowed commitment to initiate programs that would benefit the entire personnel and not a section of the Corps like the cooperative members only. “It is worthy of note that within eight months of his assumption of leadership of the Corps, the Commandant General has ensured the promotion of officers and men who have remained on same rank for 3 to 10 years, he began processing the payment of the backlog of promotion arrears of personnel which was meant to have been paid by the last administration and gave special promotion, awards and commendation letters to officers

who distinguished themselves in line of duty within his 100 days in office. “In furtherance, Dr Audi gave out cheques of over twomillion-naira (N2M) for Group Personal Accident benefits to personnel who sustained various degrees of injuries in the cause of discharging their duties. Not to mention the over twentymillion-naira (N20m) worth of cheques being distributed as part of payment for Group Life Insurance which is managed by the Head of service. “In keeping with his promise, the Commandant General has paid over 150 families the outstanding burial benefits and entitlements of deceased personnel long forgotten before his appointment as the CG to the tune of Forty million naira (N40m) while also working assiduously to pay the backlog

of outstanding benefits of about 60 families to the tune of over two hundred million naira (N200m) which has been lingering since 2013. Ongoing is the second phase of compilation of remaining personnel that has sustained injuries in the cause of discharging their duties and about 60 officers and men will be paid not less than twenty-one million naira (N21m) as Group Personal Accident Benefits. “In spite of all the above efforts however, some media houses are still been coaxed into circulating an ill-conceived story about an independent arrangement of the NSCDC cooperative society to distribute tricycle to interested members with a view to portraying the administration in negative light and also to cast aspersions on the efforts of the Audi-led administration.”




Alleged nude photos: Court fixes Jan 17 for ex Gov Ohakim’s arraignment J By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

ustice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, will January 17, 2022, arraign former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. Ohakim and Chinedu Okpaleke are being prosecuted by the Federal Government for allegedly threatening to release nude photographs of an Abuja based lady, Chinyere Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap against them. Following a petition by Chinyere Amuchienwa, the police had filed a criminal charge against Ohakim and Okpaleke, but later discovered that the content of the petition was false

and misleading. Consequently, effort by the Police to withdraw the charge against the defendants marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/287/2020, proved abortive as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice applied to the court to take over the matter. On September 27, Justice Taiwo ruled that the AGF has unfettered power to take over the case. At a resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, A. K Alilu, an Assistant Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation announced appearance for the AGF, while Emeka Etiaba SAN, appeared for the 1st defendant. Kenneth C.O, SAN represented the 2nd defendant just as Ifeanyi Nwaeze, held the brief of

norminal complainant (Chinyere Amuchienwa). Etiaba apologized to the court that his client was absent because he under isolation due to the OMICRON COVID-19 variant, having returned from South Africa. Counsel to Ohakim also apologised for Ohakim’s inability to be in court, citing health reason. Reacting, the prosecution counsel said the matter was “intentionally being stalled from going on because nobody informed the prosecution of all these developments. Ruling, Justice Taiwo held that the COVID-19 is not an issue to play with. In view of the application of the defendants, the court adjourned to

January 17, 2022 for Ohakim and Okpaleke to be arraigned. Meanwhile, Daily Independent sighted the cause list of the court, with the matter entered as IGP vs Okpalake and others. In the five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, the police had alleged that Ohakim and Okpareke, knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system to harass and bully Amuchienwa, an offence that is punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015. Some of the charges read, “That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire

among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally sending messages by means of computer system or network in a grossly offensive, pornographic, nude of an indecent obscene and menacing character of one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015. “That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves to cause annoyance and criminal intimidation to one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.

Zamfara newly elected APC leaders resume duty From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


he newly elected Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Zamfara State chapter, Tukur Umar Maikatako alongside other executives, have formally resumed duty after taking over leadership from the Chairman Caretaker Committee, Senator Hassan Mohammed Nasiha at the state party headquarters in Gusau yesterday. Speaking during handover ceremony, Umar Maikatako pledged to promote the party’s popularity to the expected height as his administration will prioritize youths empowerment through facilitating cash assistance to the party members. Maikatako further called on all party members who felt offended in one way or the other, to forget the past and renew their membership cards as directed by the APC national headquarters. “As Zamfara State Chairman of the APC, I don’t want to lose even a single out of over a million registered members in the state, because I saw him or her as integral part of the movement towards achieving the party’s dream come 2023.”

Participants, during the One Day Sensitization for Students in Tertiary Institutions organised by CISLAC & German Cooperation, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Women initiative felicitate with Atiku Abubakar at 75 By Usman Shuaibu


he leadership of Liberate the Women Initiative, a NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) has felicitated with the former Nigerian Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubkar who clocked the age of 75 years on the 25th of November, 2021. The celebration of the former Nigerian vice-president birthday took place at the Christ Treasured Orphanage Home Bako in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.

In an interview at the occasion, the national president/founder of Liberate the Women Initiative (LIWI), Dr Tobechukwu Princess, said the purpose of celebrating the birthday of the former VicePresident was due to his concern to the less privileged ones in the society. She also described the former Nigerian vice-president as a destabilized Nigerian, adding that Atiku Abubakar is a true Nigerian. She, however, pointed out that Atiku Abubakar is not tribalistic, saying that women initiative

would continue to pray for the former Nigerian vice president to become the president of Nigeria. In another development, the leadership of LIWI on Saturday celebrated the 3rd anniversary in a grand style in Gwagwalada. While speaking to newsmen during the anniversary, Dr Tobechukwu princess, said the women initiative was aimed at liberating the women from poverty and laziness. She said: “We need to encourage women to do something. We need to mentor

the women because many of them have ideas of doing things, but they do not know how to go about it”. Princess, however, said plans are underway next year to sensitize the women on the activities of the organization, pointing out that the organizations is not politically motivated. Meanwhile, the 3rd anniversary of Liberate the Women Initiative featured the conferment of awards to some personalities.

Bauchi gets new Commissioner of Police From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi


he newly appointed Bauchi State Police commissioner Umar Mamman Sanda has

resumed duty. Sanda took over from outgoing commissioner, Sylvester Abiodun Alabi who was posted to the Force Headquarters in Abuja. Speaking after he received the

mantle of leadership in the State, Sanda said his operational model will be proactive in nature and will be based on the best practices of effective policing within the community.

Sanda warned that his administration will not condone indolence from any person nor will it tolerate any act of corruption in whatever form.


By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja


orthern Elders Forum (NEF) has cautioned the federal government against profiling and targeting all Fulani as terrorists, saying that millions of law-abiding Fulani should be encouraged to stay on the side of the law. NEF also noted that President Buhari’s silence on Nnamdi Kanu will do serious injury to

Bandits release 10 abducted Zaria LG staff From: Kaduna




he Kaduna State Police Command has confirmed the release of 10 of the 13 abducted workers of the Zaria Local Government Council in Kaduna State. The PPRO, ASP Mohammed Jalige, stated this in a statement issued yesterday. Jalige said police operatives have intensified efforts to get the remaining 3 LG workers,released. A relation of one of the freed LG worker,alleged that N40 million was paid as ransom before the bandits released the 10 LG workers. He said the kidnappers promised to release the remaining 3 if 3 motorcycles are made available to them. “They are yet to meet their families because they are in hospital receiving treatment, “ he said. Journalists were told that the Local Government council is preparing to provide the 3 motorcycles so that the remaining 3 LG staff would be released. It would be recalled that the LG workers who went in a bus to commiserate with a colleague, were misled to the kidnappers den by a bandit collaborator in a Kaduna forest.


NEWS Northern elders caution FG against profiling Fulani as terrorists a country already threatened by multiple challenges to its security and territorial integrity if he delays announcing that the judicial process in the case of Kanu must be allowed to run its course. Recall that, federal High Court in Abuja under trial Justice Taiwo Taiwo has ruled that activities of bandits, as well as other similar groups, by whatever names they are called, in any part of the country,

amounted to acts of terrorism and subsequently declared them terrorists. NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem BabaAhmed, in a statement yesterday, said, the forum has noted a judicial decision to label bandits and kidnappers as terrorists and recommends greater clarity in terms of the targets of this development. “There are millions of Fulani who are law-abiding citizens

and they should be encouraged to stay, while those who have chosen to continue on the path of criminality should feel the full weight of the law”, he said. NEF has also noted that “They have carefully studied the request of Igbo Elders for President Muhammadu Buhari to terminate the trial of Nnamdi Kanu and release him unconditionally. It has also been noted that President Buhari’s response both raised very

weighty issues related to the request, and his commitment to consider it.” The forum also called for the postponement of National census planned for 2022 until after the 2023 elections. “The integrity and success of a sensitive and vital activity such as this will be compromised by destabilized and threatened communities and proximity to another sensitive activity such as general elections.”

Yar’Adua Foundation to host public forum on elimination of violence against women


n Tuesday, November 30, 2021, The Yar’Adua Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation, will host a public policy forum: ‘Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!’ to galvanize Nigerians to take action on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This is according to Jacqueline W. Farris, Director General of the Yar’Adua Foundation. This high profile event will hold at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja from 10am to 1pm. The First Lady of Ekiti State, Her Excellency Bisi Fayemi will

deliver the keynote address. She chairs the Gender Based Violence Law Management Committee in Ekiti State and serves as Chairperson of the Nigerian Governor’s Wives Forum Other special guests include Ms. Kathleen FitzGibbon; Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi; Secretary General of the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, and Ms. Esme Stuart; Head of Gender, Youth and Human Rights, European Commission. Institutionalized gender-based violence poses a serious threat to

Nigerian women. In 2018, a survey by the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and Law, revealed that 70 per cent of female graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions have been sexually harassed in school. Classmates and lecturers were the main perpetrators. Sexual assault results in women feeling unsafe, undermines their self-esteem, and obstructs their personal and professional growth. The goal of the public policy forum is to identify policy gaps that can enhance the safety and security of women, young persons and other vulnerable populations on tertiary

institution campuses. The event will inform and inspire stakeholders as we seek to address one of the defining challenges of our time. The Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation was established by the friends, family and associates of Shehu Yar’Adua to honour the legacy of one of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary leaders. Through its facilities and programmes, the Foundation endeavors to further the ideals of Shehu Yar’Adua; his commitment to national unity, good governance and to building a just and democratic society for all Nigerians.

President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Ali Rabiu (7th L), with participants, during a workshop on outcome-based education in engineering evaluators organised by COREN in Abuja on Monday (29/11/21).

IFA identifies how govt, agencies can offer free education, security, others to PWDs By Musa Baba Adamu


group which champions the cause of Persons With Disability (PWDs), Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) has identified a number of ways through which life for PWDs could be made more meaningful and inclusive in the county. Executive Director, IFA, Grace Jerry, disclosed this at a program in Abuja titled: “Building Young persons with disabilities to advocate on Gender based violence against women and girls with disabilities.” The group said from its findings it found that there were gender based violence against women and girls with disabilities. It said these groups of people do not get enough attention of the security and other government agencies whenever

they approached them for redress and accommodation. To overcome these, therefore, the group has suggested more Persons with disabilities, their family members and care givers should be enlightened on what Disability Based Violence is. It said: “They should be enlightened to know what and what is not acceptable, what amounts to a violation, what to do when they are being violated and how to go about it.” It called for the building of the law enforcement agents capacity to deal with issues that have to do with persons “with disability with a view to eradicating attitudinal, physical or systemic barriers that persons with disabilities face when trying to access their services.” It further recommended that “Media outfits should take it upon themselves as part of their Corporate

Social Responsibility to report issues of persons with Disabilities so as to enlighten the public and make them more aware and concerned with issues of persons with disabilities such that they no longer stigmatize a survivor of any form of violence or their family, and are able to stand up and speak up for them from now on.” To support this, it called on “other Corporate organizations should sponsor media campaigns and projects that protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Government should strengthen social protection systems and mainstream such programs to cater for the needs of persons with disabilities.” To curb the widespread among the PWDs, the group tasked “Government should also implement the 5% employment quota provided for in the

Disability Act. “Putting these and other poverty alleviation measures in place will reduce the vulnerability of persons with disabilities to Disability Based Violence and give them the means to seek for justice when the need arises.” It said education should be made free for persons with disabilities of school age. “Their capacity should be built around defense mechanisms and how to seek redress. This will drastically reduce the silence culture among survivors because apart from the lack of resources or knowing the appropriate quarters to channel their complaints, a lot of persons with disabilities are afraid of not being able to express themselves or properly articulate their issues and would rather keep silent than embarrass themselves.”


NEWS Yoruba social club celebrates 15years anniversary, appeals for N15m


Sokoto Govt to unveil world-class advanced medical diagnostics centre

By Usman Shuaibu


he leadership of Bomo Deoku Social Club Zuba, Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday celebrated fifteen years’ anniversary as the club appealed for N 15million to build its hall in the area. Speaking to Peoples Daily correspondent during the celebration of the anniversary in Zuba, the patron of the club, Dr Wasiu Tunwase, who is also the Otunba of Yoruba community in the FCT, urged the leadership of the club to continue to handle the club diligently. Tunwase said he would continue to support the club 100% in order to achieve its goals for the members. He noted that despite the challenges faced by the club the leadership of the club had done a lot of things, and prayed for the executives to get more money to build the hall. He, explained that the executives, as well as the members of the social club, are always ready to take advice from the elders that will move the club to the next level. The Bomo Deoku Social Club Patron, therefore, used the occasion to call on the entire Yoruba in the FCT to live as one indivisible entity for the sake of togetherness. When asked to comment on the 2022 FCT Area councils’ elections, Otunba charged the Yoruba to vote for credible candidates who would take them to the promised land.

A multi-billion naira advanced medical diagnostic centre built by the Sokoto State Government has been completed and ready for commissioning. By Albert Akota


multi-billion naira advanced medical diagnostic centre built by the Sokoto State Government has been completed and ready for commissioning. The Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, will commission the centre on Wednesday. He will be assisted by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, other government dignitaries and officials of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). Governor Okowa, who is a medical doctor, is visiting Sokoto to take part in a meeting of the NMA holding in the state. The Commissioner for Health

in the state, Dr Mohammad Ali Inname, who disclosed this in a press statement on Monday in Sokoto, said the facility is worldclass and a milestone in the history of medical diagnosis in Nigeria. The facility, with state-ofthe art medical equipment, has a Radiology Unit, Laboratory Unit, Out-patient Clinics, Dental Unit, and ENT Unit. It will offer a variety of services, including Medical Investigations, Radiological Investigations, and Laboratory Investigations. It has provision for ECG, Stress ECG, Echocardiography, and Vascular Doppler, Gastrology, Endoscopy, Neurology, and EEG. It also has extensive capacity for

MRI, CT scan, Fluoroscopy, Digital X-ray, Mammography, Chemical Pathology, Histopathology, Microbiology, and Hematology. Already, medical consultants, medical officers, laboratory scientists/technicians, nurses and other personnel required for the smooth running of the centre are being hired. For efficiency, the centre will be managed by Healthfield Medical Services Ltd, through a publicprivate partnership model. The project was executed for approximately N3.2billion, with about N824million spent on construction and N2.4billion expended on equipping the centre. Katuru & Partners Limited handled

construction while Minjiriya Medical Services Limited executed the supply and installation of diagnostic equipment. Dr Inname said the centre will provide high-quality cutting edge medical diagnostics services for the people of Sokoto, other Nigerians and nationals of neighbouring countries. “A staggering number of Nigerians seek healthcare services abroad, it has been reported that 5,000 Nigerians travel overseas for medical treatment monthly, with an estimated bill of over $1 billion annually. This has been as a result of non-availability of advanced healthcare technology in our health facilities,” Dr Inname said.

Engineering company to produce electric cars in Nigeria By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


n engineering company, Zeetin Engineering, said it has concluded plans to set up a multi-billion naira factory in Idu Industrial area of the federal capital territory (FCT) to produce electric cars. Speaking with journalists recently in Abuja, Robert Azibaola, promoter of the company, said he has invested about N3.5 billion in setting up the place. Azibaola said, so far, he has not borrowed money from the bank, adding that he is desirous to receive bank facilities that would assist him to accelerate the completion of the

factory. He said the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank have expressed their readiness to furnish Zeetin Engineering with a loan facility of N2.5 billion each. “As a visioner, this is my vision and it is to make Nigeria great,” he said. “Except we get our act together, the black race globally will not have a proper footing in spite of their inventions in the western countries. This is my personal contribution towards making Nigeria a great country. “Zeetin focuses on all types of metal works of high-end

engineering. It has acquired and installed the most sophisticated production machines (CNCs, Plasmas, 5Axis Milling, Lathes, etc) in the metal works industry in Nigeria. “With its capacity, Zeetin will be functioning as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for Nigeria and will be churning out full-scale industrial product for the Automotive, Aeronautic, Aviation, Railways, Marine, Agricultural sectors, etc. “The lack of OEMs in the country has been a great hindrance to the growth and development of manufacturing and assembling companies. Manufacturers

in Nigeria usually resort to importation of all their spares amidst scarce foreign exchange and lead time. “When fully operational, most Nigerian businesses in need of specialised spare-parts will get from Zeetin direct and would not be waiting for importation from abroad. Thus, Zeetin Engineering shall be bridging a vital gap. “Zeetin has array of machines that are for the manufacture of other machines, spares and equipment. “This is why Zeetin is leading the way to become Nigeria’s proudly OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) at full-scale industrial levels for Nigeria.”

EHORECON develops guidelines to strengthen practice By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


nvironmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has developed four guidelines aimed at strengthen the practices of environmental health in the country. The Registrar of EHORECON, Dr. Baba Mohammed made the disclosure at the opening of a two days workshop on stakeholders critique meeting on the

development of guidelines for disinfection of microbial (COVID-19) clinical impacted surface in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja . Dr.Mohammed said that the meeting was very necessary and critical to identify the practices of environmental health professionals. He said the guideline was apt and timely. “Firstly, the development of the guidelines for premises inspection and sanitary inspectors majorly is to inspect premises, through identifying the issues

and problems in those houses. “Also, it was to check toilet facilities in the premises and the processes of certification of the premises”. He explained that “Environmental Health Officers will use modern methods for certification habitation continuously”. The EHORECON boss pointed out how critical the guidelines for operation of public health,pest and vector control was. “The guidelines for vector control will be explicit, given the new technology that will

be used step by step by the Environmental Officer in local government, to reduce the numbers of vectors that are of medical importance”. Also speaking,Prof. Agwu Amadi, of Federal University of Technology Owerri, said without proper guidelines in any profession it cannot be effective. “But with a proper guideline delivery, it will be effective. More environmental practitioners should be recruited in every community in Nigeria.”




Children of poor deserve Fintiri donates N27m to families of slain General, better future -Onaiyekan 7 others By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja

From Dankano,Yola.



he Adamawa State Government has donated N27 million to the families of slain General Dzarma Nzirkuzu and seven military officers killed in an ambush by ISWAP terrorists

222 residents acquire vocational skills in Edo

in Borno state recently. Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri announced the donation during the burial of the officers at the 23rd armoured Brigade barrack’s cementry in Yola, weekend, describing their killing as monumental loss to humanity. Governor Fintiri said that

the financial support to the families of the departed heros was to appreciate the modest contributions of the gallant officers. “N10million will be given to the family of General Zrikusu and N17million to the families of the other officers and men of the Nigerian Army.”


he former Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan said it is not only the children of the rich people who deserve to be alive. He said the children of the poor also have a better future. He disclosed that some of the poor children of today can be important people tomorrow.

He said, “the menace of street children concerns every part of our society, starting from the family. We must stress that parents should not throw away their children”. Speaking with the journalists during the Abuja premiere movie, titled: “The Oratory”, in Abuja over the weekend, he urged the government to collaborate with the church, and the church with the parents to make children survive.

By Osaigbovo Iguobaro


o fewer than 222 residents including women and youths have acquired vocational skills in Edo State. They were selected from Edo south senatorial district. The training was facilitated by Matthew Urhoghide, Senator representing Edo South senatorial district at the National Assembly, as part of his effort to improve the livelihoods of unemployed individuals. The beneficiaries will be supported with starter kits to commence their respective businesses with the support of the federal ministry of works and Housing and the Cross River Basin Development Authority. Addressing journalist at the training session in Benin City, the senator, who is the chairman senate committee on public accounts, said he has so far upgraded the skills and empowered over 7,000 persons across the seven Local Government Areas that make up the senatorial district in the state.

Some security personnel at the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos which was on Sunday attacked by gunmen, on Monday (29/11/21).

Corps members tasked on teamwork, patriotism

By Albert Akota


orps Members have been urged to utilise the opportunity of the threeweek Orientation Course to cultivate long-lasting relationship, teamwork and also promote the unity and integration of the country. NYSC Director-General, Brigadier

General Shuaibu Ibrahim gave this advice yesterday during a nationwide virtual address to the 2021 Batch ‘C’ Stream Two Prospective Corps Members and Camp Officials. He urged the PCMs to take the Orientation Course seriously because of the benefits it offers which include; leadership training, teamwork, tolerance, discipline,

entrepreneurship training among others. The Director-General also advised the Prospective Corps Members to obey the rules and regulations in their respective places of primary assignment when posted, adding that the scheme would not condone any act of indiscipline as every infraction would attract sanctions as stipulated in the NYSC bye-laws.

The Director-General enjoined the PCMs to provide the needs of their host communities by initiating projects that would positively improve their standard of living. He warned against borrowing money to execute projects, but advised that they source for funds from within the community.




Nigeria will soon overcome challenges – Dogara

From Ahmad Muhammad Bauchi


ormer Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed optimism that Nigeria will soon overcome its security challenges. He said there is no nation on earth that has not been tried or tested as every one of them had experienced moments of national peril which is making such countries stronger in unity. A statement from his Special Advicer Dogara Turaki Hassan, said Dogara stated this when he delivered a keynote address at House of Justice Annual Summit in Kaduna over the weekend.

Court orders NBTE to unseal Alhaji Mangal property By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Maitama, has directed the National Board of Technical Education(NBTE) to unseal a Property belonging to D.B Mangal Company, owned by Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal.

The plaintiff has in an experte marked M/8161/202 dated and filed November 2021, prayed the court to compel the NBTE to unseal his Plot located at No. 1405 Cadestral zone A05 Maitama, Abuja. Respondents in the matter are the Attorney General of the Federation, the SSS, the Inspector

General of Police and the National Board of Technical Education, NBTE. Justice Yusuf Halilu, after listening to all the arguments canvassed by the parties in the matter, in an ex-perte order, granted all four interim orders. The Court also “directed the respondents, henceforth to allow

Mangal unhindered access to his property they unlawfully seized.” The Judge also “directed the parties to maintain status quo which had existed before the unlawful seizure pending the determination of the substantive matter.” Meantime, the matter is adjourned to December 13, 2021 for hearing.

Zamfara commends Institute of disaster management and safety science

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


amfara State Government through State Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has commended the Institute of Disaster Management and Safety Science (IDMSS) for the capacity building of disaster managers in Nigeria. State Commissioner Of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hon. Fa’ika M. Ahmad made the commendation while delivering her remarks as special guest and Icon Of Excellence/ Hon. Fellow at the IDMSS/ACCPN Induction and Training onGlobal Disaster Crisis, Climate Change Perspectives at the Nigerian Army Resource Center Abuja during weekend. The Commissioner explained that the training of the disaster managers came at a better time when the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Muhammad Matawalle was keenly interested in capacity building of the state government officials for better service delivery. According to the Commissioner, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been training its staffers with the support of the Save the Children International and now IDMSS for effective disaster management. Hon. Fa’ika urged the participants to be good ambassadors of the Institute and work round the clock with the relevant stakeholders with a view to safeguarding humanity.

The Lord Bishop of Kubwa Diocese (Anglican Communion Church) Abuja, The Right. Rev Dr.Duke T. Akamisoko (left) assisted by other priests, during the dedication of the Chapel of Grace Anglican Church, Nigerian Law School Bwari in an effort of providing a befitting place of worship for the Anglican law students, held yesterday in Abuja... Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Group reacts as Ogun varsity ban Niqab By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja


uslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has argued that no one has the right to ban the face veil worn by Muslim women, popularly known as Niqab, “because the freedom to ‘manifest’ religious belief is enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria”. A female Muslim alumnus of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB was reportedly forced to remove her veil by the school security men before she was allowed into the institution.

The group said, no institution of learning, from primary to tertiary, whether federal, state, or even private, has the right to prohibit the use of hijab or niqab. “It is a contravention of the provisions of Section 38(i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which says inter alia.” While reacting to the development, the MURIC director, Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Sunday, said, Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, (ICCPR) guarantees the right to freedom of religion

unconditionally. “‘Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, and observance. “In addition, Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights & Fundamental Freedoms contains a right to have ‘respect for the religious feelings of believers…’

But FUNAAB authorities have no respect for the religious feelings of Muslims. This must stop. “The problem with some nonMuslim heads of educational institutions and public offices in the South West is that they wrongly assume that they can compel Muslims under them to abide by their non-Muslim way of dressing. “They, therefore, go all out to enact rules and regulations which disallow Muslims from dressing like Muslims. This presupposes that they hate the sight of Muslims.”




NBA blames introduction of quota system on ‘collapsed education’ By Osaigbovo Benin



lumide Akpata, the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, declared that Nigeria’s education system collapsed when policy makers in the country laid the foundation for quota system on the basis of ethnicity and political patronage in place of meritocracy. He made the assertion while delivering the 46th and 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Benin City, Edo State Capital where he spoke on the topic, “Re-prioritazation of education: A panacea for the obstacles challenging national development in the 21st Century Nigeria”. Olumide, UNIBEN alumnus, lamented that the sets of Vice Chancellors at the moment cannot be compared to Vice Chancellors shortly after the first and second generations of Nigerian Universities. “That was the moment we laid the foundation for the collapse of the education system in Nigeria. Rather than be guided by the best standard practice and principles, we prioritised the education systems that are administered in Nigeria on the basis of ethnicity, and son of the soil, crept into the education system and now hold sway.”

From left: Acting Bursar of the University of Calabar, Mr Joseph Odum; Registrar of the University of Calabar, Mr Gabriel Egbe; Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Angela Oyo-Ita; Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi and others, during a visit of the accreditation team to the University in Calabar on Monday on Monday (29/11/21).

Nnamdi Kanu: No one is above mistake, says Bishop Onuoha By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja


ishop of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, Most Revd. Dr. Sunday Onuoha, has compared Nigeria to a large family, saying the people were bound to offend one another. However, he said citizens must come to terms with the

reality that the nation will only make progress, if the people would apologize and forgive one another. Bishop Onuoha, who spoke against the backdrop of the recent calls by some Igbo leaders on President Muhammadu Buhari to release the detained leader of IPOB,

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, stated this at the annual Harvest Thanksgiving service by the Methodist Church Nigeria, Cathedral of Unity, Abuja, yesterday. The theme of this year annaul Harvest Thanksgiving service is ‘God of All Possibilities’. According to Bishop Onuoha,

“We have several Christians and Muslims praying and asking God for His grace, so God does not abandon his people. There are challenges sometimes, and Nigeria is passing through her challenge. We passed through challenges in the sixties during the civil war, God saved us and God would save us again.”

Minister tasks principals of unity colleges to serve as visionary leaders From: David Hassan, Gombe


he Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwaijuba,

said there is need for Principals of Federal unity colleges to serve as visionary leaders in their various schools. Nwaijuba stated this during

the 2021 annual general meeting of Principals of unity colleges that in Gombe, on Monday. He said the unity colleges

which have turned to community secondary schools with dilapidated structures have to be done towards ensuring better transformation.

Plaster of Paris (POP) workers call for price regulation


he Union of Plaster of Paris Workers in Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to regulate the price of Plaster of Paris (POP) materials in the market. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, the union members also appealed to the Federal Government to grant approval to license the organisation. Plaster of Paris is a building material used for decorating, molding, casting and protective coating on walls and ceilings of homes and offices. Mr Mathew Abata, POP National Public Relations Officer, decried the increasing costs of materials which affected patronage

and livelihood. Abata said that there was the need to create a platform to dialogue with the importers of POP materials to ensure price stability. “We are POP workers, we are artisans under civil engineering; we decorate houses and industries of all kinds. “We feel it’s necessary to put our voices together because when you go to civil engineering, our work is the number one richest work. ”But right now, we feel cheated because of many things; the POP sellers will just decide at any time to raise the price of material without consulting us the end users,” he said. “We need a platform where we can

dialogue with those importing these materials. So, before anything will be done; before any rise in price, they must let us know. “We want the Federal Government to hear us, to know that we are citizens of this country. “We want them to help us achieve this certificate, we want them to know that there is a job like this, that artisans are suffering,” Abata said. Mr Tovi Boniface, National President of the union, urged all artisans in the country to register with the association to better their future. “We are trained to put heads together so that we can make something which everyone

will benefit from in the future,” he said. Also, Mr John Apolinaire, POP union Chairman, FCT branch, advised members to collaborate as a team to achieve the aims and objectives of the association. “As a group of POP workers, we are honorable members in the society, so we advise members to work with diligence, commitment and all seriousness. “We need to come together with one voice to reason and think together to achieve one goal,” Apolinaire said. However, the union’s legal adviser, Mr Babatunde Ojo, said that continuous effort should be made to ensure that legal steps are taken to register the organisation to gain adequate recognition. (NAN)




100 people NAFDAC harps on quality of products with for long-term trade among countries disability benefit T from APPEALS project By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Abdulwasiu Olayinka Fawole said 100 of 1,715 small and medium scale farmers who benefitted are people with disabilities and special needs. He stated this while speaking with newsmen at the sideline of a pre-seventh implementation support mission held in Kaduna. Fawole added that the meeting aimed at reviewing program implementation in six participating states of Enugu, Cross River, Kaduna, Lagos, Kano and Kogi. .“We are here to prepare ourselves ahead of the main mission coming up between the 6th and 21st of December which is why we have the representative of the national project coordinator who is in charge of Kaduna here with us. “Since the beginning of the project, we have been able to support the farmers who are in cooperative groups. About 2000 of them have been supported in terms of machinery, improved technology to improve their productivity.”

he Director General (DG), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, has insisted that quality of products that are being traded are important for sustenance of trade relations among countries. She stated this at the 2nd Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference, in Lagos, insisting that “Without Quality Trade, the Pakistan-Africa Trade Development will be short lived”. Adeyeye, therefore, assured of the preparedness of her agency to remain open in order to encourage collaboration between Nigeria and

Pakistan. According to her: “It has been a wonderful time of exchange of culture and most of us could feel the music and the dance which are universal, it is only the language that is left out of these three events of culture . “So, this is an important event for Nigeria and Pakistan. When you talk of trade, you also talk of quality that is where the regulatory agencies come in. Without quality, trade will be short lived. “What we did in NAFDAC is to create an office of trade and international relations because we do not want to leave trade out of our regulations. “Regulatory agencies are supposed to be universal in terms

of what they expect from their clients or stakeholders like you. “The mandate of NAFDAC is to control and regulate importation, exportation, manufacture, and distribution. “Other are advertisements, sales and use of seven regulated products that include drugs, medical devices, diagnostic, vaccines, foods, cosmetics, chemicals, packaged water and beverages.” She noted that the federal government attaches importance to exchange of culture and regulatory ideas, explaining that NAFDAC welcomes trade, investors and they have created room for partnership in terms of pharmaceuticals and foods.

According to her, “we have improved our regulatory control over the last four years, and the WHO is recognising us for that because without strong regulatory agency there cannot be good trade. “So all our Pakistani friends that are here you are most welcome, and in fact is a reciprocity of culture as our minister said this morning and this is part of what we have to watch tonight, understanding each other and that will foster trade. Over 100 pulse companies participated at the event including pharmaceutical, paints and chemicals, Surgical instruments, beauty and cosmetics, leather products and accessories among many others.

R-L: District Governor Rotary foundation DG Ayoola Oyedokun, chairman of the occasion Dr AlMujtaba Abubakar, District Rotary Representatives DRR Sheriff Oladimeji and former Minister of Defence Adetokumbo Kayode during the Rotary joint foundation dinner, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Panelists say controversy Almakura urges Northern youths to help govt over value overcome challenges added tax ``You need to participate prosecute attackers, and as well the second assembly thanked his By Mashe Umaru Gwamna actively in the affairs of the state as carry out its National Livestock members for their support. ill-timed He said during his term the enator Tanko Almakura, so as to help the government in Transformation Plan. ``We condemned the assembly was about to collaborate representing Nasarwa South addressing all the issues that is From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


inancial experts and tax administrators from the academia and government have warned that the ongoing controversy over the Value Added Tax (VAT) should be handled with caution so that it does not degenerate into a conflagrating crisis. They made the assertion during the first Economic Intelligence Unit Policy Dialogue organized by Planning and Budget Commission Kaduna. The panelists said the whole issue is ill-timed because VAT is a regressive tax that takes a larger percentage of income from low-income earners than from high-income earners, saying this is coming at a time that the earnings of an average Nigerian is dwindling.


Senatorial District has called on the Northern youth to get involve in governance and help in efforts to overcome the current challengers facing the region. This was made known during his address at the inauguration of the newly elected Speaker, principal Officers and Members the Third Northern Youths Assembly of Nigeria (NYAN) yesterday in Abuja. According to Almakura the capacity and viability of the north lies on the youths and members of (NYAN). He said, “You cannot drive the political and economic activities of Northern Nigeria without the youths. ``I admonished you today, to take the lead in the conscientisation of the region to overcome the current challenges bedeviling the region.

causing set back to the region.” Almakura was represented at the event by the Director-General of his Campaign Organisation, Mr Dominic Alancha. Speaking shortly after his inauguration, the new Speaker, Mr Ibrahim Lawal said the perception of creating minorities and majorities among Northerners should have no place in the region. He explained that discrimination base on place of birth; faith or ethnic group of any Northerner should not be allow to continue. ``We therefore demand with immediate effect other region governors must take proactive steps to protect members of northern communities who live in their regions. ``We also call on the Federal Government to protect both herders and farmers and to

continuous senseless killings, abduction and destruction of lives and properties in the Northern region of the country by terrorist group. ``We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to continue in his efforts to get rid of this terrorist group, who has brought pains and agony to our people. ``We implore our governors who are Chief Security Officers in their various states to continue to support Mr President in ensuring that normalcy returns to the region,’’ Lawal said. According to him, dialogue is an antidote adding that President Buhari should dialogue with leaders of other regions for the interest of uniting the country, as father of the nation. Speaking, Mr Ukasha Hamza Rahama, .the former speaker of

with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Ministry of Health to organise programmes for the Northern Youths. ``My Prayer is the new leadership shold continue to press on to ensure that the issue of insecurity is overcome in the north’’. Similarly, the Chairman Board of Trustee, Northern Youths, Mr John Aba, alsko known as Big Jay, the spirit of the youth in national development cannot be ovceremphasised. ``The strength of the nation lies on the youth. What is happening in the north is cleart sabotage. ``The youth have a big role to play. The northern youths would be a deciding factor in the 2023 general election to produce the president of this country,’’ Aba said.



Letter to the Editor


Only Buhari will resolve this


fter both the Senate and House “You pass Not Too Young To Run of Representatives agreed last Bill, but at the same time, you close the week on party direct primaries in space for the young ones for whom you contrast to state governors’ opposition, the have passed Not Too Young To Run Bill. question was which way would President You have continued with your indirect Muhammadu Buhari go. Well, now we primaries. How will the young people get know from closer quarters. The President involved? Now, they have a chance with will ‘vote’ direct. the direct primaries. You have opened up House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, the space and they can get in and mobilise who spoke with State House themselves and if they are popular correspondents in Abuja after meeting enough, they win the election. They are with the President, said Buhari supported not dependent on any godfather”. direct primary election. He described the Gbajabiamila disagreed with Benue President as “a product of direct primary” State’s governor, Samuel Ortom, who said because of his popularity, saying that that direct primary elections would be he has opened up the political space for too expensive for political parties and the the youths to participate. He noted that electoral commission to handle.The House indirect primaries have not helped the Speaker said. “I have heard that argument growth of democracy. about cost. And this is what I have to say: Gbajabiamila said, “If I do you put a price tag on tell you we didn’t discuss the democracy? I don’t think Electoral Act amendment, you should. What is too which is what I am sure you much and what is too are asking about, if I tell little to buy freedom and you we didn’t discuss that The indirect primary democracy? I don’t think I would be lying to you. We you should put a price tag is easier for me, had a very robust discussion on it. So, how much will be at least, as far as okay for him? He should and our position is known to the President.” us how much will be my constituency tell Asked what that position okay for him.” was, he asked back, “Are you On the allegation that is concerned. But, not aware that the National members of the National Assembly has passed the because I don’t want Assembly were fighting direct primary elections to be selfish, because because they had been edged out by governors, and electronic transmission I want to look at he said: “The indirect of election results? That is is easier for the position of the National the bigger picture, primary me, at least, as far as my Assembly. It has passed I will rather go with constituency is concerned. through both Houses. We because I don’t want have passed the (draft) direct primaries. Let But, to be selfish, because I law. The official position of House of Representatives everybody go and want to look at the bigger picture, I will rather go and the Senate, we are for vote with direct primaries. Let direct primary. We are for everybody go and vote. If empowering the people at the grassroots level. Let everybody they vote me out, they vote me out. It is as participate in governance. Democracy is simple as that.” It is clear why governors are opposed defined as a government of the people for the people and by the people. ‘People’ is to direct primaries. Their reason that they used three times in that definition. And are too expensive doesn’t hold water at it doesn’t start from general elections. It all. What they are not saying is that they starts from primaries. So, we have made it fear that they will lose their grip on their parties and the electoral process because very abundantly clear.” Gbajabiamila defended the direct they sit on a huge war chest. This vital primary election option, saying, “It financial resource enables them to pick (indirect primary) has been like that the bulk of delegates going for primaries. for a long time and it’s not helping It also helps to buy the votes of some our democracy. It is not growing and delegates. The governors are sensing defeat deepening our democracy. We have passed Not Too Young To Run Bill, which already. President Buhari’s expected the President was very happy to be a part assent to the passed Electoral Act 2010 of because he wants to encourage young Amendment Bill 2021 will put the final nail on their political coffin. people. But it’s just a bill on paper.

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Corps members as unsung national heroes By David Onmeje


t takes a great dosage of patriotism for anyone to be glorified as a national hero for his country. Experience has indicated that patriotism to Nigeria is a rare virtue among Nigerians. But it is an essential ingredient and the self-sacrifice every citizen must make to build the anticipated virile and strong nation. In recent times, members of the National Youth Service Corps ( NYSC) have exemplified the rarest spirit and courage of patriotism to Nigeria during the mandatory one year service to the nation. They have dared deadly territories and conquered multiple daunting challenges for the sake of serving Nigeria, their fatherland. Particularly, under the leadership of the incumbent NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim Ph.D, Corps members and the scheme have assumed new dimensions of reorientation and excellence. And in tandem, corps members have consistently dispensed themselves as patriotic heroes and heroines of the national struggle for stability and have been admirable partners in moments of national emergencies. As foresighted Gen. Ibrahim’s agenda since 2019, when President Muhammadu Buhari entrusted him with the leadership of the NYSC scheme, he enunciated an agenda for himself. He proclaimed his vision of the NYSC as to “… sustain effective utilization of the potentials of Corps Members for optimal benefit; to pursue a technologically driven organization to deepen effective service delivery; to improve on the welfare and security of corps members and staff; strengthen existing collaboration with stakeholders; and reinvigorate NYSC ventures and Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme in line with the NYSC Act for greater impact.” Today, Corps members have blended with this vision in service to Nigeria. Former American President, Theodore Roosevelt explained the clearest meaning of patriotism. He said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.” This is the exact manifestation of Corps members in Nigeria today. As first kicker, Corps members are the greatest symbols and steady manifestations or consummation of Nigeria’s efforts at national integration, unity, togetherness and peace! Some Nigerians hardly pay attention to scanty details. But it is exemplary that Corps members forsake the comfort of their homes and accept posting to serve their country in completely strange lands, far away from their home states. Corps members unreservedly interact and blend with their new hosts, by learning and exchanging new cultures and traditions. They freely make life-time friendships which are not deterred by the sentiments of tribe or religion. Also, they render appreciable community services to Nigerians in these new domiciliary abodes in the spirit of love and fraternity. Youth Corpers also take incredible risks for the sake of their country. Available statistics have shown the intervention and active participation of these young Nigerian graduates in national health crises emergency, such as their conscription into the control of epidemics like Lassa fever, Ebola, and Cholera among others. But most impressively, Corps members throughout the federation were at the forefront of the battle against combating the wild spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Corps members, embarked on penetrative sensitization campaigns; whlist most Nigerian communities enjoyed free hand sanitizers, facemasks, liquid soaps et al, courtesy of serving corpers as their contribution in bringing succour to the distressed populace.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari launched an ambitious policy on promotion of robust agriculture with various initiatives. There are scores of NYSC farms dotting the landscapes of many states in Nigeria; from North to South measuring over 60, 000 hectares and still expanding. Corpers have actively picked up the challenge of President Buhari’s rice policy by cultivating tens of thousands of rice plantations every cropping season, which is have harvested and processed in NYSC Rice Mills for consumption. It is a welcome development that serving Corps members are contributing to national food sufficiency and security. Furthermore, the knowledge corps members acquire through the scheme’s partnership with Access and Unity Banks to fund Business Plan Development programmes for Corps Members, alongside, the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) is also fruitful. The agricultural skills and business training, farm internship, mentoring and farm input supplies extended to serving corpers have tuned around the farms fortunes of some rural communities in agro-businesses and other investments. Many Nigerians are oblivious of the pleasant reality that countless Corps members have also been indirectly enlisted into the FGN’s campaigns to tackle the prevalent and frightening unemployment rate in the country in their post-service years. Through the experience acquired during Orientation Camps through the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme (SAED) has equipped most Corpers with selfsustaining practical skills, which many have converted into real time advantage in the post service years. SAED has enabled thousands of Corps members to venture into investments and employed the services of other Nigerians. Those Nigerians who have benefited from these gestures have sustained their applause for the scheme. Additionally, the engagement of Corps members by INEC as adhoc staff in the conduct of general elections in the country has significantly reduced the prevalence of connivance with dubious politicians to rig or manipulate the electoral process. While its undeniable that the electoral system in Nigeria is still flawed with malpractices, Corps members who serve in the capacity of adhoc staff during elections have substantially conferred credibility on the electoral process in many troublesome areas. This is most times done at the risk of the personal lives of Corps members or they face dangers which would not have come their path ordinarily, just because they are patriotic citizens, with an overriding zeal to see a better Nigeria. In most rural communities, Corp members market themselves as the Ambassadors of Nigeria! They serve as bridges between rurality and modernity, without grudges because the interest of the nation is paramount in their hearts. So, in remote communities, where regular teachers reject postings, a Corps member accepts the challenge to serve as a teacher. He or she endures all hardships and deprivations to serve the country and performs the assignment of imparting knowledge to tender Nigerians committedly and distinctively. Therefore, in or out of the service year, Nigerians with the imprimatur of the NYSC make Nigeria and her citizens proud. Corps members truly represent the idealistic posturing of true patriots in the arduous task of Nationbuilding. It is only Godly for Nigerians to support Corps members in order to continue to bridge the gulf in critical areas of the economy in this collective journey of existentialism for a greater nation. Youth Corpers are undoubtedly, the unsung heroes and heroines of Nigeria. Onmeje wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.




Fuel subsidy removal and the concept of change By Jerome-Mario Utomi


t is a common knowledge that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) recently rejected the Federal Government proposed N5, 000 for 40 million poor Nigerians when the subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) is removed. While describing it as ‘nonsensical’ the argument that the complete surrender of the price of petrol to market forces would normalize the curve of demand and supply as it is being wrongly attributed to the current market realities with cooking gas, diesel and kerosene is very obtuse, the Congress according to media reports warned that the bait by government to pay 40 million Nigerians N5, 000 as palliative to cushion the effect of the astronomical increase in the price of petrol, is comical. Essentially, before going ahead to admit the fact that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) captured what has been on the minds of Nigerians, there is need that i add context to the present discourse. It is a public knowledge that prior to 2015 general election when the word ‘change’ made its way to the nation’s leadership lexicon via our political ‘’leaders’’, who at that time, in the image of their actions, and in their quest for new but personal fields to increase their wealth and wellbeing, redefine the word and lavishly promised Nigerians same, Nigerians have never paid ‘disciplined attention’ to, or hobnobbed/romanced such a word. Also lamentable is the awareness that without studying the various

propositions presented by the change proponents, and failures by well informed citizens to inform the masses accordingly, politicians persuaded Nigerians to endorse and applaud the lavishly promised ‘change’ without knowing or recognition that it was harmful to their interest. With the above highlighted and in order not to allow the true meaning/ obligation of change in any given society, state or nation, to go with political winds, this piece will further keep issues where they are. Globally, the concept of change has been a subject of metaphysical discourse and dispute. As noted by an author, the notion of change is always related to being, the relationship of being and becoming in infinite beings. Whatever change is and is not, it has a past, a present and a future. Change as it were, is a self-evident fact; we experience change. Hence we can say for certain that change is the primary datum of experience. Everything given to experience is subject to change. Hence, change is a universal phenomenon. Change involves movement from one pole to another. It is a transition of being from one mode of being to another mode of being. To change implies to be different and yet somehow to remain the same. That is, the past mode and the present mode are somehow different and somehow the same. Second and very fundamental, like so many unpalatable experiences in the past (electricity tariff among others), this piece holds the opinion that engineering change is not the problem but how the government defines/

understands the concept of change. This understanding daily reflects in the Federal Government choices and slanted decisions that today paints our nation with the politics of fear and bankruptcy of ideology, perpetuates poverty and promotes powerlessness, impedes socioeconomic development, leaves our democracy down-graded and troubled; visits Nigerians with tears while eroding opportunities for sound policy formulation. More importantly, aside from the fact that the planned fuel subsidy removal has recently seen the relationship between the Government and the Governed transcends to a chaotic coexistence, leaving Nigerians as both victims of blasted hope, there are of course more reasons why Nigerians are not particularly happy with such development and can no longer trust the social contract or the framework of rules that governs state. Here is my philosophy; recently, life in the estimation of Nigerians who once lived in comfort and loved to stay alive, has become not only a burden but the shout of the ‘good old days’ now rends the nations’ wavelength with the cost of living comparatively high and national security now a problem, our value system which used to be sound has gradually been eroded and people no longer have value for hard work and honesty. The country is currently a direct opposite of what it used to be. There is uncertainty and collective fears of the future, stemming from state weakness, clientele and indiscriminate repression which has resulted in the emergence of armed responses by marginalized groups and nationalist, ethnic or other

populist ideologies. The situation says something more. Across board, there exist political and institutional factors: weak state institutions, elite power struggles and political exclusion, breakdown in social contract and corruption, identity politics. Socioeconomic factors such as inequality, exclusion and marginalization, absence or weakening of social cohesion, poverty among others. Most importantly, with the promised change by the present administration; Nigerians thought that they(FG) will make conscious efforts to enhance primary health care facilities across the country, reduce costs and unnecessary pressure on secondary/tertiary health care facilities. Personally, I have personally thought that the promised change in 2015 would increase the number of, and improve the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standards within five years. In the area of education, Nigerians are particularly not happy that the present Federal Government is unable to carry out a thorough review of the education sector and tackle the main causes of the sectors’ decline, implement fully and enforce the provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equity in primary and secondary school enrolment while also improving the quality and substance of the schools. Without a doubt, Nigerians had earlier believed that the present administration would reinstate the now abandoned Teacher Training College to train teachers, make substantial investments in training programmes

at all levels of the educational system, re-introduce technical and vocational education nationwide by giving adequate material support to such institutions.. They (Nigerians) expected the APC led administration to spend up to the UNESCO budgetary recommendation on the education sector. Whatever may be the failures, this piece believes that we must as a nation return to where it started from. This is because despite the validity of the Federal Government’s present argument, nobody will believe them particularly as Mr. President had during a media broadcast on October 1, 2020, insisted that Petroleum prices in Nigeria must be adjusted as It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia. Lets again listen to that remark; we sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbors will illustrate the point; Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre; Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346; In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre; Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia. Buhari concluded. No nation, in my view, can become great under a leadership arrangement with such orientation/thinking. Utomi, Programme Cordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy, SEJA, writes from Lagos. He could be reached via; jeromeutomi@ yahoo.com or 08032725374.

Towards agribusiness fortune By Jimoh Abdullahi


n August, 2019 President Muhammad Buhari ordered the closure of Benin Republic border in order to encourage domestic production of rice and to curtail smuggling, yet the attempt was dismal as people did not buy their local rice that is full of chaffs as a result of unavailability technological machines to perfect it. Meanwhile, government needs to increase the allocation of the sector for prosperity. For any other things to be considered FOOD must come first because it serves as a saviour from the hand of number one enemies__ Hunger and Malnutrition. And this food in question is a product of Agriculture. However, the state of Agriculture in Nigeria that is believed to be a live wire is not appealing. And its problem descends from the top. It all started from the 1970’s during the foray of Nigeria’s oil exploration business when Nigeria detoured from Agriculture. Agricultural economy that accounted for 85% of the Nigeria foreign exchange earnings 90% of employment generation and 80% of the Nation’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) in the 1960’s according to the (Central Bank of Nigeria CBN: 2016) when Nigeria was one the world’s largest producer and exporter of Palm oil, Cocoa, Ground nut, Cotton, Coffee,

Rubber, Hide& skin and so on. It is no longer genuine that Nigeria is endowed with 79 million hectares of vast arable land, 267.7 billion m3 of water for irrigation and 57.9 billion m3 of underground water etc. With all these useful resources the posture of the government towards Agriculture is frustrating. Take from the 2022’s 1.8% budget for Agricultural sector which is the highest in four years. In 2017 it was 1.70% in 2018; 2.00%; 2019; 1.56%; 2020; 1.34%; 2021; 1. 37%. And all these allocations still fall to 1% of Maputo Declaration of 10% on July, 2003 held in Mozambique under Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), eighteen years back to this time. A reasonable ratio for Agriculture since the advent of democracy in 1999 could be traced back to the tenure of President Umar Musa Yar’adua, which were 5.41%; 2008; 5.38% in 2009. Despite the fact that, 60-70% of Nigerian population engaged in Agriculture yet, the figures of people practicing farming recently have reduced drastically due to a number of factors ranging from the incessant Farmer-Herders clashes, insecurity; the ugly incidence of November 28, 2020 in Maiduguri, Zabarmari where about 78 rice farmers were killed by the Boko-Haram terrorists is a case in point. Low profit and shortage, many small scale farmers that manage to opt for farming do not get necessary

aids from the government in terms of unsubsidized fertilizers, seeds, herbicides and the likes they buy as crop farmers. Conspicuously, outdated tools are still in use to carry out the toiling task of Agriculture in Nigeria in this 21st century and that particularly scare people especially the youthful graduates from going into Agricultural business where success resides. Majority of them see Agriculture as a task of uncultured people thus, they are finding what is not lost in Cybercrimes, Kidnapping, Robbery and all other filthy jobs as a result of unemployment. Norwegian country makes use of high-tech food production systems with wide spread fast-paced digitalisation. The country has developed different autonomous robots that can carry out varieties of tasks on a farm field. For instance, the country has an autonomous weeding robots that can reduce the use of herbicide by 95%. It is the first country in the world that has ever produced virtual fencing system for grazing animal. Find my, in turn offers a tracking collars that use global positioning system (GPS) so, farmers can monitor livestock on their smartphones. All those attract young people to agricultural business. Nigeria, being a country with the largest population in Africa, has been projected by the census bureau of United States that Nigerian population would reach 379.25 million by 2047

and surpass that of United States of America (USA) . United Nations also forecasts that, the overall population of Nigeria would reach about 401.31 million by the end of 2050 and if the current figure continues, it would go up to over 790.7 million by 2100. That means there is fire on the mountain for Nigeria due to the rapid growing population if Nigeria do not want the current food insecurity to exacerbate there is a need for more people to participate in Agriculture. Recently, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is pegged at 33.3 % as against the previous 27.1% that shows that youths which take almost half of the country population are yet to know a number of benefits in Agriculture many students that were offered it as a course of study feel somehow and it is observed that, Agriculture as course gets the lowest candidates in jamb and this unveils the attitude of the young people towards it. Agricultural science has a diverse fields and unlike other professions. It has a sub-fields like crops farming, fish farming (Aquaculture) poultry farming and so on, any area can be chosen depending on someone’s area of interest. Apart from the food benefit that is derived from it. It also maximize profits and serve as a self-employment. In the 60’s Agriculture covered 95%of the country’s food needs. The only way that can make the young people find Agriculture

interesting is through modernisation where technological appliances will be used to carry out the toilsome aspect of it as practice in Norway. And private individuals and Non-government Organisations (NGO’s) have a role to play, via organising a seminar on Agriculture so as to orientate the young people and other practicing farmers. What makes Nigerian Agriculture on the run and yet to move contains a lot of factors. And these factors are as a results of government appalling posture towards it.This is actually what makes it seems that all government’s initiatives and policies are not working. In August, 2019 President Muhammad Buhari ordered the closure of Benin Republic border in order to encourage domestic production of rice and to curtail smuggling, yet the attempt was dismal as people did not buy their local rice that is full of chaffs as a result of unavailability technological machines to perfect it. Meanwhile, government needs to increase the allocation of the sector for prosperity. The challenges of lack of advanced technological instruments are what various technological universities with the support of the government should bear its responsibility. Jimoh Abdullahi writes from the University of Ilorin He can be reached via__07063087705




Violence Against Women: A global problem in need of a collective solutions By Jimi Bickersteth


he scriptures precepts and recommendation for the marriage enterprise sanctity sounds sancrosanct, that if adhered to was expected to lead to a state of immense joy, tranquility and satisfaction for both marrying partners. Albeit, was not providing building blocks for peace and joy to many. The precepts were quite simple in its framing. Found in Ephesians 5:22-24: “Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord,… In fact, in balancing the relationship, a husband’s authority is limited by his own subjection to God and Christ. A friend’s testimonial on her hubby’s birthday on a wet November morning to her hubby’s steadfastness, love, encouragement and support over the years was like a sweet smelling aroma to my consciousness. The title of their marital oddyssey would read like, “the journey, the destination and the company” and that would have aptly summarised and also describes this couple, and, in spite of myself, her statements moved me. It was that her reaction that spontaneously prompted this reaction on violence against women. Coincidentally, November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day was recognised by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1999 with a view to raising public awareness of violations of the rights of women. Why was this step deemed necessary? In many cultures women are viewed and treated as inferior and as secondclass citizens. Prejudices against them

are deep-rooted. Gender-based violence in all its forms is an ongoing problem, even in the so-called developed world. According to former UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan, “violence against women is global in reach, and takes place in all societies and cultures. It affects women no matter what their race, ethnicity, social origin, birth or other status may be. Radhika Coomaraswamy, former UN Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on violence against women, says that for the vast majority of women, violence against women is “a taboo issue, invisible in society and a shameful fact of life.” Statistics issued by a victimology institution in Holland indicate that 23 percent of women in one South American country, or about 1 in 4, suffer some form of domestic violence. Likewise, the Council of Europea estimates that 1 in 4 European women suffers domestic violence during her lifetime. According to the British Home Office, in England and Wales in one recent year, an average of two women each week were killed by current or former partners. The magazine India Today International reported that “for women across India, (and easily for most parts of Africa) fear is a common and constant companion and rape is the stranger they may have to confront at every corner, on any road, in any public space, at any hour.” Amnesty International describes violence against women and girls as today’s “most pervasive human rights challenge.” Far from being biased against women or condoning chauvinistic attitudes toward them in any way, nowhere in the ancient Mediterranean or Near East were

women accorded the freedom that they enjoy in modern Western society. The general pattern was one of subordination of women to men, just as slaves were subordinate to the free, and young to old. In most parts of the societies, male children were more highly esteemed than female, and baby girls were sometimes left to die by exposure.” A prevailing attitude toward females in ancient times. In many cases, they were put on the same or slightly higher level as slaves, and customs reflected this attitude. The Scriptures, written at a time when customs reflected this attitude. Even so, divine law as expressed in the Bible showed high regard for women, which was in marked contrast with the attitudes of many ancient cultures. An appropriate view of a capable wife is presented by the ancient writer of the Proverbs. Though without taking into accounts certain human limitations, particularly, in the areas of finance, convenience, contentment and other wherewithal. In many lands wedding ceremonies traditionally include the exchanging of vows in which the bride promises to obey her husband. Still, in the largest human enterprise on earth, many of the key participants, women, chafe at the idea of male headship in marriage, and surreptitiously invite conflicts and veritable avenue for the quandary Man to asserting his authority. Thus, through the women’s lib and such like advocacies, women were seeking to making a struggle and mincemeat of what was otherwise to be a balanced and practical process in the world order and in the scheme of things. The end result was always woes, chaos and misunderstanding, beating and more beating, and with the man physically stronger, you can imagine the

gravity of the bashing and battering that often ensue. The scriptures precepts and recommendation for the marriage enterprise sanctity sounds sancrosanct, that if adhered to was expected to lead to a state of immense joy, tranquility and satisfaction for both marrying partners. Albeit, was not providing building blocks for peace and joy to many. The precepts were quite simple in its framing. Found in Ephesians 5:22-24: “Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord,… In fact, in balancing the relationship, a husband’s authority is limited by his own subjection to God and Christ. He is not empowered to compromise the wife’s own trained conscience. Within these limitations, however, God, the founder of the grand institute and idea has assigned the husband the responsibility of making important decisions for the family. In fact, with conflicts in view, the husband is commended to exercise his headship unselfishly, putting his wife’s benefit ahead of his own. A husband who follows the supreme dictates and examples of love rejects a self centred exercise of headship. Even as he dwell with his wife “according to knowledge.” This involves more than a mere superficial awareness of the physical and emotional differences between men and women. He should gain an understanding of his wife’s needs. Here, let’s set some ground rules. Now, as a partner, and a willing one at that, does her subjection as a wife require her to be completely passive and an active olúndù, (olúndù being a Yoruba word for a dummy); merely living in her husband’s shadow rather than a husband’s partner,

holding a place of honour. No! As his partner and councillor, she is expected to provide valuable input concerning family decisions and is given a measure of authority in the family, often managing many household and even some financial matters. Of course, as the family head, the husband is responsible for making final decisions. In any case, since the beautiful description of the role and the status of a wife, was included in the scriptures we can be sure that the creator of heaven and earth approves of it. Far from being oppressed or being viewed as inferior, such a woman is appreciated, respected, and trusted. Wife was explicitly and implicitly implied, not a woman was included in the scripture, not this young frolicking souls you find on the streets pitifully living like orphans left to chart an unknown world, and with one lewd music flowing and following the other. The abuses and violence on women should be viewed holistically, from the thinking and perspectives of the depraved and pedophiles, silly men that were caught in the sensual and avoidable trap of a girls torso and innocent look. Most times when the word R-A-P-E is screamed, I looked at the girls involved and felt sorry for them from the depth of my heart. Beautifully built girls, adrift, and struggling to survive as so many kids, but who entered a stream that they could not navigate. What had they to offer? Nothing anyone wanted except that beautifully built bodies and their willingness to drop on their backs on a bed, thereby creating problems for self and society. Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and writer

Challenges and economic potentials of Nigeria’s tourism sector in post-COVID-19 era By Daniel Uchechukwu Lawrence


he economic potentials of tourism remain enormous as the sector generate billions of dollars yearly for nations across the globe. For this reason, many countries have anchored their economic growth and survival on the development of their tourism and hospitality industry. In 2018, international tourist arrivals reached 1.4 billion, while total export earnings from international tourism reached USD 1.7 trillion, or almost USD 5 billion per day on average (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2019). There is no doubt that every nation possesses one tourism potential or the other by the virtue of their culture, tradition, environment, and history. Given the enormous economic benefits of tourism, countries such as Australia, Germany, the United States of America, China, the Caribbean, Spain, United Arab Emirates, among others have taken advantage of the prosperous opportunities the sector offers to expand their national income and diversify their economies. The mother land of Africa is home to beautiful landscapes and vegetations, wildlife, historical sites and rich cultural festivals. These natural attributes have become huge sources of tourist attraction to the continent. Given these nature’s gift to the continent, countries such as Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Gambia, Tunisia, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Egypt are among the lead nations in the tourism business on the continent and at the global stage, considering the significant contribution of the sector to their various

national economies. In 2019, Kenya which is the continent’s leading tourism country, recorded a significant economic increase of 3.6 percent in her tourism earnings. This saw the country raking in about USD 1.6 billion from 2,048,834 foreign visitors (East African, 2020). Like her other counterparts in Africa, Nigeria possesses huge tourism potentials that have the capacity to boost and transform her national economy. Natural sites, historical routes and arts to the nation include; the Atlantic Ocean beaches, mangrove forest in the south and mountainous valleys and Sahel that serves as habitat to various species of wildlife, rock formations, caves and waterfalls. Slaves routes in West Africa during the 16th and 18th centuries for the shipment of black slaves to Europe and America, national game reserves and wetlands, traditional arts and grafts, national monuments, sites and museums, historical events, cultural and traditional festivals. Eneji et al (2016) maintained that Nigeria’s tourism landscape is extremely rich and beautiful for global tourist attraction. The weather, climate, vegetation, quality airspace, sunshine, beautiful scenery, the rocks, water falls, captivating beaches, historical relics, rich cultural diversity, friendly peoples and wildlife are Nigeria’s tourism assets (Eneji, et al 2016). Corroborating to this, Njoku (2019), stated that “Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has become an untapped tourist paradise with long stretches of exotic beaches, lush mountains, well-preserved tradition and culture and enchanting attractions that draw tourists from

different parts of the world”. In another contribution, Bankole (2013) argued that some physical representations of Nigeria’s cultural heritage include palaces, architecturally sophisticated and unique city walls and gates, shrines, smelting furnaces, arts and crafts, pottery making, traditional foods and drinks. According to him, in the pre-colonial Nigeria, religious ceremonies and ritual practices played very significant role in inspiring those creative works usually classified as “arts” while those objects made to serve functional purposes are classified as “crafts‟. These arts and crafts were able to flourish in the pre-colonial era because of the significant roles they play in both the secular and religious life of the Nigerian people at the time. Some of the arts and grafts represented important traditional occasions such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death. It was, however, a major setback for the societies within the territory that subsequently formed the modern Nigeria for the loss of substantial aspects of their cultural heritage to the foreign powers, particularly in the looting that characterized the colonial period (Bankole, 2013). With different tourist attractions across the 36 federating states of Nigeria and the federal capital territory, one may not be completely out of place to say that, Nigeria is a true tourism destination. Identifying the constraints of tourism in Nigeria The Central Bank of Nigeria Bulletin cited in Esu (2015) stated that the contribution of tourism to the Nigeria’s

GDP is still below 1%. In another report, Yusuff (2016) stated that in spite of enormous tourism potentials in Nigeria, globally, out of 184 countries, Nigeria was ranked 178th in the sector’s share of GDP and total employment and 176th in its share of the country’s visible exports trailing behind countries such as Namibia, Gambia, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia and Kenya. There is simply no doubt that lack of adequate investment in Nigeria’s tourism sector has contributed to the economic woes of the country. The situation has been worsened by the country’s over reliance on crude oil export as the major source of her foreign earning with little or no effort to diversify the national economy by the country’s leadership as a result of corruption. Eneji et al (2016) attributed the poor performance of Nigeria’s tourism sector to government and private sector under-investment and lack of priority attention to the industry. Other identified problems confronting the sector include social and political instability, lack of integrated community-based natural resource management system, poverty, unemployment, dependency and indiscriminate hunting of wildlife, corruption, policy inconsistency, lack of proper implementation, project monitoring and transparency, as well as abandoned rural tourism projects. When it comes to tourism development, the first and major responsibility falls on the government. The involvement of the private sector in tourism business is largely dependent on the ability of the government to provide basic infrastructures and effective policy

framework that will make known to the public the promising nature of the sector. Unfortunately, the economic woes of Nigeria and the poor state of tourism development in the country have been compounded by the failure of the government to take responsibility on vital key issues such as infrastructure and security. Ndaaba et al (2014) argued that Nigeria has not maximized her tourism potentials simply because government commitment in providing a conducive environment and the required infrastructure is inadequate. They further stated that lack of infrastructure is at worst in the rural areas where natural land formations and fascinating tourist sites found themselves. Lack of adequate and quality infrastructure has crippled so many economic progress that ought to have been made with tourism in Nigeria. Even the little available infrastructure is hardly maintained to avoid breakdown or being vandalized by criminals. The rural areas are the worst affected as they have no access to social facilities like the urban centres. Most rural communities in Nigeria with huge tourism potentials suffer from dearth of social infrastructures such as access to roads, potable pipe-borne water, healthcare facilities, electricity supply, banking services, communication network and other infrastructure that give meaning to human life. These have made life not only difficult to live in such rural areas but stunted the country’s economic growth and development. Daniel Uchechukwu Lawrence is a Public Affairs Analyst.



NEWS Steer clear of 2023 presidential election, Group tells politicians above 60 From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


group, Concerned Northern Forum (CNF) has appealed to Nigerian politicians who are over 60 years of age not to contest in the forth coming 2023 presidential election. The spokesperson of the forum, Comrade

Abdulsalam Mohammed, made the appeal in a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna, yesterday. He lamented that the Nigerian civil service rules which does not retain any individual above 60 years of age no matter his or her experience, should be applied to politicians to enable people of younger and

fresher ideas contribute their own quota to the development of the nation. “Most renowned civil servants with outstanding history of accountability, transparency and fairness in service are later engaged by the Federal, State or Local government either as consultants, advisors or committee members to help formulate

and restructure policies that will bring about efficiency, and effectiveness in service delivery.” Mohammed noted that in developed nations, experienced people above 60 years were mostly engaged in charitable activities, free consultancy services, and all forms of selfless services to their nation and populace.

Women are powerful force for change, - UN From:Femi Oyelola Kaduna


he United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey has said women are powerful when they come together. She stated this during the launch of the Nigerian Chapter of the Forum for Women in Film and Television International Network (WIFTI) yesterday. She said because of this, her organization will continue to support the government to translate international commitment on women’s rights into practice, and into laws and policies. According to her, WIFTI is a global network dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video and other screenbased media.

From left: Chief of Administration, Naval Headquarters, Rear Adm. Francis Isaac; Chief of Policy and Plans; Rear Adm. Christian Ezekobe and Chairman of Organising Committee, 2021 Sea Power for Africa Symposium, Rear Adm. Joseph Akpan, during a news conference on Virtual Sea Power for Africa Symposium in Abuja on Monday (29/11/21).

Buhari commends 2021/2022 season: LMC to UNIBEN for growth, ratify NPFL Dec. 17 kickoff in Abuja devt at 50 By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

By Osaigbovo Benin



resident Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in the advancement of education and contribution to the social economic development of Nigeria over the past five decades. He disclosed this at the conferment of higher degrees at the 46th and 47th combined Convocation Ceremony of the University of Benin, Edo State. Dr. (Mrs.) Ruqayyatu GamboIliasu from the federal ministry of Education represented the president who is a visitor to the institution.

Buhari revealed that the federal government has not relented in finding solutions to the myriads of challenges facing Nigerian Universities as well the nation’s education sector, adding that efforts are being made to address them. “Finally, I commend the commitment of the University of Benin Community, to the growth and development and by extension, Nigeria economy. Your service to our fatherland is greatly valued. I therefore charge you to place the overall interest of the University above tribal and personal interest and to strive at all times to justify the investment of government in this regard in this institution”.


he League Management Company (LMC) said it will ratify the Dec. 17 kick-off date and fixtures for 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season at its General Assembly in Abuja. Alloy Chukwuemeka, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners Association, who confirmed this to journalists in Abuja, on Friday. He said the General Assembly had been scheduled for Dec. 7. Chukwuemeka said the kick-off date was agreed at a meeting held in Lagos between the LMC Executives, Club Owners Association representatives and LMC Directors. He revealed that the all-important LMC General Assembly in Abuja would amongst other issues/ agenda discuss and ratify the new NPFL season date as proposed. According to the fixtures made available to NAN

by the secretary, the first round of the league is expected to begin on Dec. 17, and end with Match day 19 fixtures on March 20, 2022. There would be a one-week break before the resumption of the second round, which is expected to start on March 27, and end the season with Match day 38 fixtures on July 17, 2022. The NPFL Club Owners scribe also revealed that the LMC had introduced an asymetrical fixture list for the 2021/2022 campaign. It said it was expected to make the fixtures less predictable and more exciting. The match day one fixtures expected to be played in 10 centres across the country from 4.00 p.m.are as follows: Gombe United v Shooting Stars, Akwa United v Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars v Rivers United. Others are, Katsina United v Rangers International, Enyimba v Abia Warriors, Sunshine Stars v Wikki Tourist, Niger Tornadoes v Plateau United. Also fixed are, Kwara United vs Dakkada, MFM FC v Remo Stars and Heartland v Nasarawa United.



By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


hairman of the Anambra state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Basil Ejidike, has been excommunicated from the party, following the party’s abysmal performance at the November 6 governorship election in the state. The decision to excommunicate the embattled chairman came during a meeting held at the party secretariat Awka. The resolution of the party signed by its state secretary, Chukwuma Agufugo, has it that the party will embark on a peace mission to return Chris Ngige, George Moghalu and some others to the fold, while the chairman remained suspended and excommunicated forthwith. The resolution reads,

Senator Amosun felicitates with Sarafa, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK

APC sacks Anambra Chairman, Basil Ejidike, for losing gubernatorial election ”Events in our dear party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra State Chapter in the last couple of days have not been particularly fascinating considering our poor outing at the just concluded Governorship election three weeks ago. “The alleged suspension of the state publicity secretary, Arc Okelo Madukife, by the State chairman and now the suspension of the state chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike, both certify the above assertion. “Political parties are set up to mobilise membership, campaign, run and win elections and not for internal bickering among

members. Perennial failure and continuous internal wrangling in our party calls for soul searching. “It is bad enough that APC was not declared winner of the 2021 governorship election, a situation occasioned by several reasons according to our preliminary assessment. “The array of suspension in the APC, Anambra State chapter shows that all is not well, hence the need for unity and refocus. “The State Working Committee has received an official letter of suspension of the State Caretaker Committee chairman and has deliberated on that and other matters.

“As a result, it requested the Caretaker Chairman, Chief Basil Ejidike to step aside. Consequently, a five-man investigation committee will immediately be constituted to look into the matter and turn in a report. “We also resolved that in the spirit of pursuing the right course, it is important to reach out to Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige (Onwa), the leader of the party for consultation with other leaders including Sen. Dr. Andy Uba, Chief Dr. George Moghalu, Bar. Sharon Ikeazo, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Hon. Azuka Okwosa, Engr Johnbosco Onunkwo, Engr Bart Nwibe, Engr

L-R: Prince Salih Yakubu congratulating Engr. Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi , NIDCOM Secretary after the presentation of the award, yesterday in Abuja

By Musa Baba Adamu


ormer Governor of Ogun State and Chairman Senate Committee on Capital Markets, Ibikunle Amosun, has sent a congratulatory message to the Nigerian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Isola. The letter captioned “Double congratulations to a consummate Diplomat” and dated 25th November 2021, observed that on that date which was his 61st birthday, Sarafa Isola was going to present his credentials in a ceremony to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. He observed that for the two events to hold on the same date, reflects the personality of Isola as a man who attracts celebrations and honours. Going down his memory lane, the former Governor of Ogun State observed that his services to the state as a Local Government Chairman, Secretary to the State government and Minister of Mines to the Federal government had been laced with high quality service and celebrations. He also noted that since his appointment the High Commissioner he has been able to introduce new innovations that have improved credibility and efficiency to Nigeria’s mission in London. He prayed for the good health of the High Commissioner so that he will continue to render the good services he has been rendering to humanity since he came into public service.

Nelson Onubuogu, all former Governorship aspirants and other leaders too numerous to mention. “We hope to very quickly request and summon a caucus meeting where we shall present the report of the investigation committee and also for leaders to meet one on one to brainstorm on the way forward. Thereafter a stakeholders meeting will be held. “We hope that you consider this misunderstanding an internal family issue that does not need to be blown out of proportion because it can only get worst before it gets better and this is the first point of recovery.”

APC asks police to arrest, prosecute Progressive Youth Movement over felony By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Nigerian police to arrest and prosecute the leadership of one Progressive Youth Movement over what it described as the group’s felonious activities against President Muhammadu Buhari leadership of the party. Recall that yesterday, the group had told journàlists in Abuja that it has sacked the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention

Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Governor of Yobe State. But in reaction to this, the National Secretary of APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John James Akpanudoedehe, said the group is not registered with APC and has been disowned by the party. “We have received several enquiries from the media and concerned APC members on the felonious activities of a purported

group parading themselves as “Progressive Youth Movement”. “The purported group and membership are unknown to the party, its structure or as a registered support group. Hence, we completely disown them and cannot account for their activities or join issues with them”, APC Secretary said. He however described as laughable, “the criminal attempt of the purported group to usurp the leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC

now bothers on treasonable felony. Relevant security bodies must now check and address their unscrupulous activities. “The attention the purported group seeks will not be given to them by the party. We can only advise that the general public completely disregard them. Members of this group are not registered members of the APC and are being used by opposition elements and fifth columnists to cause confusion.

Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu visits IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody By Musa Baba Adamu


hief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday paid a visit to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, where he said the latter was in good health.

In a post on his verified Facebook page, Kalu said, “This afternoon, I visited my brother, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody , Abuja . I met him in good health and care and we discussed ‘Umunne’. In 2001 when I was Governor, I made his father Eze Israel Okwu Kanu traditional ruler of Akwara

Ukwu and since then the family has been very close to me. “I understand that Nnamdi has an insane amount of people rooting for his back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people. “Even though my ideology and

his ideology are totally different , God has made us brothers and we can’t run away from each other. I owe him and Nigerians good counseling …Whether he and his family listens to me or not, I will continue counseling him as I have always done in the past. What we need most is a peaceful and secure society.”




By Musa Baba Adamu


he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled: ”Time to Strengthen Democracy in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja. Wabba recalled that on November 9, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed into law amendments to the Electoral Act. He said the most topical items of the amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestants. Wabba said the other was the accommodation of the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria. He said there was need for the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deemed fit to guide

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to yesterday’s tanker explosion that killed a woman and her grandchild in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta, the state capital. The party said the Governor Dapo Abiodun government did not need its advice to fix the road. Recall that the Lafenwa explosion was the third in recent times across Ogun State, claiming many lives in similar incidents within the month of November. While commiserating with the people of Ogun and families of the victims of the Lafenwa Market inferno, the PDP reminded the public of its “sustained advocacy and patriotic calls to the fumbling APC government under Prince Dapo Abiodun to earnestly rehabilitate the terribly impassable Lafenwa/ Ayetoro road.” The opposition party expressed sadness that “this inhumane government chose to play deaf and dumb to the plight of the people whose means of legitimate livelihood depends largely on that road.” In a statement made available to journàlists by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, the PDP in Ogun State said the Abiodun government has

NLC urges Buhari to sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law

the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria. The NLC president noted that the majority of Nigerians had described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria has had in a long time. “This is also the view of the NLC. The leadership of the congress commends the House of Representatives and the Senate particularly the leadership. ”Also those who stood rock solid behind the proposal for direct primaries for all political parties and rallied their colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass the bill into law. ”This is the proof of committed leadership and true statesmanship. The congress must, however, caution that the passage of the 2021 amendment to

the Electoral Act is only a journey and not a destination. ”A lot more certainly needs to be done in order to fully sanitise Nigeria’s challenged electioneering system, especially building on the 2007 to 2011 electoral reforms which the NLC actively participated in. ”First is to tackle the menace of god fatherism, ‘god motherism’ and money politics which were the major concerns that necessitated the new law on direct primaries for all political parties. ”Due diligence and oversight must be applied to ensure that unscrupulous politicians who have been cultured to vote buying, monetisation of Nigeria’s electoral process are not allowed to extend their habitual criminal subversion of our democracy during political party primary elections,” he

said. Mr Wabba said this was in order to further safeguard the right of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders at both political party level and during general elections without being subjected to the obscene pressure of financial lure. “We recommend that the National Assembly should expeditiously consider developing a bill for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission.” He said this would expedite the prosecution of politicians and their agents who indulge in vote for cash, election rigging and violence. ”On the full mainstreaming of the use of technology in our electoral law, we urge all stakeholders, especially INEC to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons from recent and remote

deployment of technology during elections are not lost. ”Particularly, we call for confidence building measures by INEC, particularly through voter education and sensitisation. ”It is also important that the security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections should be well scrutinised and reviewed by all stakeholders. ”This is to guard against significant failures and to facilitate public ownership,” Mr Wabba said. “By returning internal party democracy to the people through direct primaries, it appeared that democracy in Nigeria was about to live up to its fullest and truest meaning,” Wabba said.

‘We warned you’ – PDP blames Abiodun as two die in Lafenwa tanker explosion “intentionally weaponised dilapidated roads against the very people it swore to protect. There is no gainsaying that the incident in which a truck loaded with PMS overturned could have possibly been avoided if the Dapo Abiodun government had heeded our party’s several calls on the need to make the Lafenwa-Ayetoro road passable before now.” According to Bankole, the party

urged the “road show erroneous government”, led by Abiodun to imbibe high sense of patriotic zeal and be more proactive to the genuine concerns of Ogun people. The spokesperson was concerned that a responsible and responsive people friendly government would certainly not wait till a disaster such as inferno occurs in an economically viable area like Lafenwa market before

showing responsibility. “It is indeed worrisome to note that as the state still griefs in the face of widespread activities of members of secret cults across the state, we have a case of large scale inferno presently, struggling for wicked attention. “Therefore, with all sense of compassion, we urge the good people of Ogun state to take solace in the fact that this era of

deliberate insensitivity manifestly demonstrated by the sinking APC government would not last. It can not guarantee safety of lives and property. “We hereby call on the people to continue to organize their energy while they remain calm and law abiding. Every shade of agony which the ruling APC government represents will soon be over,” the PDP submitted.

Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (middle) with other participants during the workshop on Better Education Service Delivery for All, recently in Abuja Photo-,; Justin Imo-owo

APC hasn’t zoned National chairmanship position to north-central - Akpanudoedehe


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied zoning its national chairmanship position to the northcentral. The ruling party said this in reaction to reports that it has zoned the position to the zone. Speaking with reporters on Monday in Abuja, John Akpanudoedehe, national secretary of the APC caretaker committee, said zoning positions are not part of the mandate of the committee’s panel. Akpanudoedehe said since President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the national convention for February 2022, it is

normal for there to be speculations. “I have the mandate to report that whatever decision the CECPC takes and to the best of my knowledge the committee has not discussed zoning,” NAN quoted him as saying. “People are just flying what will favour their interest, all I know is that the caretaker committee has not discussed or reached a zoning decision.” Meanwhile, Victor Lar, media director of the Ali Modu Sheriff campaign organisation, also dismissed the speculation. “We find the purported story as very laughable because the organs of the party

that are supposed to communicate that kind of information are not the ones communicating it,” the media director was quoted as saying. “For that reason, we will take it with a pinch of salt. The APC as a party has never adopted zoning, therefore, the story of it zoning the national championship to the north-central can better be described as a figment of the imaginations of those who planted it. “We find the report to be very poor scheming of people who are scared of contesting the position with Sheriff.” “Though we had commended the

Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) for taking the initiative to meet with Buhari on the need for the party’s national convention to be conducted. “The decision to hold the convention in February 2022 has to be taken by the party’s NEC. The president does not have the constitutional powers to call for a meeting; “Neither do the governors elected on the party’s platform. It is only the party’s NEC that can take such a decision as regards to when its national convention will be held. “The February date must therefore be ratified by the party’s NEC to make it constitutional.”



By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), a political pressure group working to ensure that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo takes over the reign of powers from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 presidential election, has refuted the reports in a section of the media alleging that the Vice President has opened a campaign Office in Abuja ahead of the election. Recall that yesterday afternoon, it was reported in the media that the Vice President opened a

El-Rufai killing APC in Kaduna with inhuman policies – PDP chieftain, Usman


2023 Presidency: Osinbajo didn’t open campaign office in Abuja - PCG says campaign office near EFAB plaza, a highbrow Area of Abuja. But, in a statement titled ‘OSINBAJO HAS NOT OPENED A CAMPAIGN OFFICE’, which was issued yesterday by Barrister Emmanuel Pippa, the Publicity Secretary of the Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), the group clarified that the said office belongs to its coalition of support groups which believes in Professor Osinbajo as the leader Nigeria needs in 2023. It said though Professor Osinbajo is yet to be acquainted with its activities, the PCG expressed its determination to get him to declare an interest in running for the office of President as early as possible.

The statement said “Our attention has just been brought to online publications which allege that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has opened a campaign office in Abuja ahead of the 2023 elections. “We wish to clarify that the said office belongs to our coalition of support groups which strongly believes in Professor Osinbajo as the leader Nigeria needs in 2023, and is determined to get him to declare an interest in running for the office of President as early as possible. “Solely for this purpose, our recently acquired administrative office is located in the heart of Wuse area of Abuja. “Even though Professor

Osinbajo is yet to be acquainted with our activities, we intend to operate through a new organ, The Progressive Project (TPP) to coordinate youth, women and other groups across the federation. “Ours is therefore not a campaign office but a venue for coordination, handling of increasing volume of correspondence and meetings in readiness for the time when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo accedes to our request for him to run and consolidate gains made under President Muhammadu Buhari. Party chieftains will of course lead the real campaign when that time comes.” The group said being a heartbeat away from the number

one job, there are countless APC members and even non-partisan citizens across the federation who are pushing for Professor Yemi Osinbajo to succeed President Buhari, solely in the interest of the nation. “We are convinced that Osinbajo’s level of familiarity with the vision, achievements and challenges being handled by President Buhari is second to none, and that such insight would enable a new APC administration to hit the ground running in 2023. “We anticipate that various new and existing pro-Osinbajo platforms will become part of the group to which their focus appears more relevant”, the group pointed out in the statement.


Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State, Lawal Usman, on Sunday said Governor Nasiru El Rufai is killing the All Progressives Congress (APC) gradually in the state. Usman said it was obvious that the PDP will take over the state in 2023 going by recent developments. Usman, also known as ‘Mr LA’, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the current All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in the state had failed the people, especially with its policies. “The Gov. Nasiru El Rufai led administration has been killing the APC gradually in the state with its inhuman policies. “The state government is pushing thousands of people into poverty daily with its urban renewal policy. The policies actually lack human face. “Although the idea of urban renewal is not a bad thing, you have to put in human capital development before it can work. “You can’t build a city without people, you must also consider building people as you build your city because they go hand in hand, ” he said. Usman said the policy had created anger among the people, as they had been pushed to the wall. “The Kaduna people are actually tired of what is happening, they are yearning for change and the PDP is ready to provide that change come 2023. “There is always need for infrastructure to be upgraded in every society, but you have to make provisions for the people likely to be affected by the programme. “Except you want them to turn to armed robbers or other criminals, you cannot just demolish their homes without resettling them. “In other countries like Dubai or U.S government always provide resettlement for people affected by urban renewal programmes,” he said. (NAN)

L-R: .Director Corporate Services, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr, Babatunde Faleke, Director Trade Information NEPC Mrs Evelyn Obidike, Executive Director/ CEO NEPC, Dr, Ezra Yakusak, during the reception in honour of New ED/ CEO of the council, Dr Yakusak, held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

ALGON crisis: Court has declared Alabi Presidency null and void – Group By Christiana Ekpa


he Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Association of All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), has said that a court order has declared Hon. Alabi Kolade David presidency null and void, hence the IMC will continue to stand on the Court order. To this end, the association’s chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors forum, have said the various organs stand on the court order declaring Hon. Alabi Kolade David presidency null and void. This was part of resolutions reached by the statutory members of ALGON and the IMC under the leadership of Hon. Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje in a statement read after the National Executive

Committee (NEC) meeting held in Abuja at the weekend. While addressing journalists, the leadership of the IMC also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to intervene for relevant authorities to effect the court order sacking Alabi leadership and salvage ALGON from the hands of impostors. The statement reads in part, “The Interim Management Committee of Association, Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councilors Forum who are statutory members of ALGON after its NEC meeting have unanimously agree to further retrieve the association from the hand of malicious lawbreakers. “The National Executive Council Meeting which held in Valancia

Hotels Abuja on Thursday saw in attendance concerned statutory members of ALGON, the IMC under the leadership of Hon. Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje reiterates its position that Hon. Alabi Kolade David is not a chairman of any of the recognized local government areas enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria hence does not have a stake in deductions at source or even the affairs of the association in general. “Alabi called a NEC meeting in Lagos inviting Chairmen, alongside council members, an action which is indeed in flagrant violation of the subsisting court order restraining him from parading as the leadership of ALGON, as the President of the IMC, I and my team will by every means possible do everything legitimately to rescue ALGON from the hands of usurpers.

“Sincerely, there is no singular achievement in any state under the imposed leadership of Alabi and his cohorts. “The IMC is in full gear to gain back good momentum for ALGON, we also use this opportunity to let you know that the IMC have gotten a befitting office to carry out the activities of ALGON, as a body duly elected by General Assembly and we shall thus write to the necessary organisations, MDAs and others to preempt them on the recent development as we have a lot of activities and agenda lined up for the association. “Again, by the power bestowed on me as the Interim President of ALGON, Alabi’s Presidency by the court order is null and void hence the just concluded meeting he held in Lagos under ALGON is just a



Stock Watch: Monday, November 29, 2021 Low

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2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

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5.80 6.00 ACCESS -0.35 3.94 3.94 AFRIPRUD 0.00 0.27 0.27 AGLEVENT 0.00 0.64 0.64 AIICO 0.00 8.60 8.60 BERGER 0.00 67.00 67.00 BETAGLAS -1.30 3.79 3.79 BOCGAS -0.42 9.65 10.05 CADBURY -0.40 31.50 31.50 CAP -2.50 1.90 1.90 CAVERTON -0.02 18.45 18.45 CCNN 0.00 1.72 1.72 CHAMPION -0.12 23.25 23.25 CONOIL 0.00 0.20 0.20 CORNERST 0.00 0.20 0.20 COURTVILLE 0.00 6.10 6.10 CUSTODIAN 0.00 1.75 1.75 CUTIX 0.00 186.00 186.00 DANGCEM 0.00 6.00 6.25 DANGFLOUR -0.65 14.60 14.60 DANGSUGAR 0.05 1.80 2.00 DIAMONDBNK -0.20 3.37 3.37 EKOCORP 0.00 4.30 4.30 ETERNA -0.40 14.00 14.00 ETI 0.00 7.45 7.60 FBNH -0.35 1.62 1.67 FCMB -0.03 1.92 1.98 FIDELITYBK -0.04 4.95 4.95 FIDSON 0.00 0.33 0.33 FIRSTALUM 0.00 21.85 21.85 FLOURMILL 0.00 29.60 29.60 FO -1.10 0.20 0.20 FTNCOCOA 0.00 12.20 12.20 GLAXOSMITH -0.85 33.50 33.50 GUARANTY 0.55 72.00 72.00 GUINNESS 0.00 1.18 1.18 HONYFLOUR 0.00 1.53 1.53 IKEJAHOTEL 0.00 31.50 31.50 INTBREW 0.00 0.53 0.53 JAIZBANK -0.01 0.20 0.21 JAPAULOIL 0.00 23.25 23.25 JBERGER 0.00 0.44 0.44 JOHNHOLT 0.00 0.30 0.30 LASACO 0.00 1.36 1.36 LEARNAFRCA 0.00 0.72 0.72 LINKASSURE 0.00 0.52 0.52 LIVESTOCK 0.03 1.83 1.83 MANSARD 0.00 2.45 2.45 MAYBAKER 0.00

Stock Close Gain UPL 1.14 0.13 LIVESTOCK 0.52 0.01 SOVRENINS 0.21 0.03 OKOMUOIL 60.00 1.80 GUARANTY 23.50 0.55

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0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2021 NgTradeOnline

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IATF 2021 generates US$42.1bn Trade and Investment Deals By Etuka Sunday


he second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) generated a record setting US$42.1 billion in trade and traderelated investment deals, according to the latest tally released today by the IATF Advisory Council. The latest figures captured additional data submitted by Trade Promotion Agencies of Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa. Organised by African ExportImport Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, IATF 2021 saw US$42.1 billion worth of trade and investment deals agreed during the event, which took place from 15 to 21 November in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This record value of trade and investment deals was the outcome of more than 500 business deals concluded during the rich and varied 7-day programme of business-to-business, businessto-government and governmentto-government exchanges, exhibitions, trade and investment conference sessions, as well as other verticals, such as the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) programme, the IATF Automotive Show and the African Union’s Youth Start-Up programme. IATF 2021 thus surpassed its pre-set target of US$40 billion in trade and investment deals, going well beyond the US$32 billion in transactions closed at the first edition in Cairo, Egypt in 2018. The expected number of participants and exhibitors were also exceeded. Against a target of 1,100 exhibitors, IATF 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors showcase their goods and services. While the organisers aimed for at least 10,000 participants, the event attracted over 30,000 participants of which 11,828 were in person. Opened on 15 November at a ceremony attended by seven African Heads of State

and Government, IATF 2021 was also marked by several major innovations, such as the first African Sub-Sovereign Governments Conference held on 18 November, on the sidelines of the trade fair, as well as the first ever African Auto Show and Auto Forum. H.E Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the IATF 2021 Advisory Council and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, commended the outstanding performance while congratulating the organisers and the host country for their tenacity. “Despite the uncertain environment arising from the COVID-19 pandemic situation, IATF 2021 attracted exhibitors from 59 countries, of which 46 were African countries. Buyers, sellers and investors came physically and virtually from across Africa and beyond to connect and exchange trade, investment and market information. We have

effectively begun the process of building bridges for a successful AfCFTA, less than a year after the commencement of trade under this agreement,” said Chief Obasanjo. “We congratulate the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the KwaZuluNatal Provincial Government, Afreximbank, the AU Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, and thank them for the swift efforts made in record time to organise this historic event, which has resulted in the resounding success that we see today.” Commenting on the results, Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, said that the success of IATF 2021 is proof that intra-African trade is taking root under the platform of the AFCFTA. “We are proud to be well on the way to consolidating an initiative that is already beginning to transform intra-African trade.

IATF 2021 was enormously successful at all levels. The US$42.1 billion in trade and investment deals that were generated reflected the record participation, a well-thought-out platform, diversity and depth of goods and services showcased and a rich programme. We thank the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the KwaZuluNatal Provincial Government as well as our other partner institutions, donors, exhibitors, buyers and performers for their strong collaboration,” said Prof. Oramah. H.E Ambassador Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, said: “IATF2021 was held under very challenging circumstances, but with the hard work and commitment from all the stakeholders, it turned out to be a

huge success not only for the big business but also for the young people who participated in the IATF under the AU Youth StartUp Programme. The IATF also plays a vital role in catalysing industrialisation and production of manufactured and value-added goods and services in support of regional economic integration objectives under the AU Agenda 2063.” H.E Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, said: “The IATF 2021, which comes after the commencement of trade under the AfCFTA on 01 January 2021, is a practical instrument that connects buyers and sellers and provide trade and market information to facilitate intra-African trade under the AfCFTA. The conclusion of trade and investment deals worth $42.1 billion demonstrates that there is a huge opportunity for boosting intra-African trade if all the key stakeholders work together…”

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo (L) presents an award to the Managing Director of Nigerian ExportImport Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abubakar AbbaBello, after the flagoff of the survey and charting of Lower Rivers Niger and Benue organized by NEXIM Bank, National Inland W a t e r w a y s Authority (NIWA) and Nigerian Navy at Ajaokuta Port Complex in Kogi.

Digital Service Exportation: Nigeria to benefit from $4trn Market


he National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA and Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC have forged an alliance that could enable Nigeria to benefit from the yearly $4.7 trillion exportation of digital service. The alliance is in line with the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pillar of the NITDA’s 2021-2024 Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan recently launched. This was made known during a press briefing hosted by the outgoing NEPC Executive Director, Mr Segun Awolowo to commemorate the consolidation and partnership between the two organisations. The NITDA Director General, Mallam

Kashifu Inuwa, who was represented at the event by the Acting Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy (CPS) Dr Aristotle Onumo said, the partnership is aimed at facilitating the exportation of digital services adding that more partnerships of this nature from the public and private sectors would bring out synergy, exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing among them. He emphasized that the digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pillar of SRAP enables NITDA to easily collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the exportation of indigenous services saying “It would not have been so for NITDA to collaborate with

sister Agencies that have similar visions to drive digital economy to its rightful place in Nigeria.” Mr Awolowo, during his remarks, averred that the partnership has provided about N150 million support grant to innovation hubs across three geopolitical zones in Nigeria. He said about 300 million in grants to support Start-ups that are exporting and have potential to export services in the Entertainment Tech, FinTech, EduTech and LogisticsTech sectors. He stated that “We are also providing support to drive advocacy to ensure that Nigerian Start-up Bill is passed by the end

of the year.” He noted that due to the level of interagency collaboration between NITDA and NEPC, they have been able to attend to all areas of the services export ecosystem from regulatory challenges to access to market and finance, skills gaps, and most importantly digital infrastructure. It could be recalled that some of the achievements of the partnership include the Outsource Nigeria Initiative, financial interventions for six Start-ups, support to three innovation hubs, setting up of skills acceleration centres and advocacy support for the Nigerian Start-up Bill.




By Etuka Sunday


he Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi has said that the Duport Modular Refinery is on track to be completed before the end of December 2021. He made this statement recently during an inspection visit to Duport Energy Park situated at Egbokor in Edo state. The project is being developed with equity contribution from the NCDMB in line with the Federal Government’s policy of catalyzing modular refining, which is geared towards increasing in-country refining of petroleum products, adding value to crude oil resources, and creating jobs from oil and gas operations. The Executive Secretary indicated that the installations and civil works

Wabote assures timely completion Duport Modular Refinery at the plant as well as all mechanical works would be concluded before the 23rd of December 2021, noting that by first quarter of 2022, the gas gathering facility will also be completed. Speaking further, the NCDMB boss hinted that local content opportunities on the project are numerous, noting that 100 percent of the total workforce are all Nigerians from the clearing of the site to the civil works. He further stated that all the contracting and subcontracting phase of the project went through local businesses.

Wabote explained that one of the key benefits of the Board’s partnerships for the establishment of modular refineries is the steady rebuilding of local skills in refinery operations especially amongst the nation’s teeming young workforce. The Executive Secretary while giving his impression over the progress of work done at the project site said: “I am impressed. It is part of what we try to do at NCDMB when we take up any project, we follow it through end to end to see that it is delivered, and

we are very optimistic this will also be delivered at the right time with the right quality”. Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Duport Midstream Company Limited, Dr. Akintoye Akindele appreciated the Board for its continuous partnership. He mentioned that NCDMB support has been invaluable and goes beyond the capital support to include catalyzing the new project. He reiterated that Duport Energy Park is the first SMART energy park in

the world that comprises of a 10,000 barrels per day modular refinery, a 60 million standard cubic feet per day gas gathering facility, a 50MW power plant and a data analysis centre. Also speaking, Engr. Kashim Ali, member of the NCDMB Governing Council expressed delight at the progress of work executed on site and the steps taking by the Board to invest in the project. He assured that the Council will continue to support indigenous businesses in delivery of their scope.

Nigeria, Korea, Cameroon collaborate on e-government capacity building plan By Etuka Sunday


he Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy FMoCDE is fostering a pivotal relationship through a triangular cooperation on eGovernment capacity building plan among Nigerian, Korean and Cameroonian Government. During the opening ceremony of the three-day workshop facilitated by the Korea International Cooperative Agency (KOICA), the Zonal Director of the eGovernment Training Centre (e-GTC), Prof. Suleiman Mohammed, welcomed the KOICA team and the delegates from Cameroon while giving a brief history on the collaborations between Nigeria and KOICA. Capacity building, according to Prof. Suleiman, has been identified as key ingredient in the successful implementation of the Nigeria eGovernment Masterplan, which

led to the establishment of e-GTC under the KOICA. Prof. Suleiman disclosed that the Centre was handed over to FMoCDE in November 2019 by KOICA after a six-year contract execution period. In December 2019, the FMoCDE inaugurated the governing committee and later the management in July 2020. Due to delay caused by the outbreak of CORONA virus in 2020 the Centre did not commence training until November of the same year. “The Digital Governance Projects through the KOICANIGERIA partnership covered the creation of the eGovernment Master Plan, Capacity Building Program, and the establishment of the eGovernment Training Centre,” said Prof. Suleiman. He further explained that the centre has adopted a collaborative model in its administration. This he said is based on the belief that

eGovernment program is multistakeholder and cross cutting in nature. He confirmed that while 1,777 public officers have been trained on eGovernment capacity building in Nigeria, 131 have been trained in Korea since the centre commenced operations a year ago. In the bid to ensuring the triangular cooperation relationship among the three countries, the KOICA Country Director (Cameroon Office), Mr. Lee Gyuhong, led delegates from four different government establishments in Cameroon namely; the Presidency Office, Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform, National School of Administration, and the Magistracy to the workshop. Mr Lee explained that the workshop is to foster knowledge exchange and experience sharing on eGovernment capacity building between Nigeria and

Cameroon through workshops and engagements with key eGovernment stakeholders in Nigeria in order to gain better understanding on the administrative and technological factors that supported the country’s eGovernment implementation, the delivery of Cameroun’s eGovernment project experience, and the conduct of notable field visits to key eGovernment service centres in Abuja, Nigeria. He added that, in enabling a sustainable development goal to ensure inclusiveness, equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, KOICA Nigeria has actively championed the delivery of quality basic education through the aid of multimedia tools for better learning outcomes for the Nigerian child. KOICA-Nigeria program officer, Mr. Kayode Adebisi, while elaborating on the Digital Transformation projects in Nigeria,

laid emphasis on the massive Nigerian governmental support received through efficient and transparent service delivery with a citizen centered approach in actualizing a Digital Governance structure in the country. He noted the impact of Digital Education Projects in Nigeria, saying; “KOICA-Nigeria partnered with Universal Basic Education (KOICA-UBEC) to establish a multi-media model school in Abuja, this was aimed at improving the educational environment of Smart Schools and enhance the quality of public education in Nigeria through the utilization of ICT.” He closed by adding that the second phase of the digital education project on smart education by KOICA-UBEC is expected to cover six states across Nigeria namely: Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Lagos, Edo, and Anambra States.

Communications expert, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan unveils three corporate brands By Etuka Sunday


n its commitment to the process of brands engagement and detailed brand storytelling, McEnies Global Communications has officially launched as a 360-degree marketing communications powerhouse with cross-solution services delivered by two new other businesses – Perfect Clicks Signature, a creative visual production firm and modelling services agency, Ruby Models. The three-in-one businesses were unveiled on Friday, November 19th, 2021 at a grand event held in Ibadan, Oyo State. While delivering her keynote speech during the three-in-one opening, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan, Group CEO of McEnies Global Communications said the three businesses are poised to integrate to offer extra value, provide solutions, re-define quality service delivery, and drive brand visibility for all its clients. “Our goal is to create total marketing communications effects that leave a lasting memory of professional fulfilment, superlative business result and personal endearing experience. We have

not come to this space to claim we know better, but we are bringing a collection of innovative ideas and youthful touches, using technologydriven processes to bring to fore your personality, organization and brands for a remarkable experience. “The three corporate brands offer what your companies, products, services, personal life need to stay on the competitive edge whilst you keep a great feel of your decision to come along with us”, she said. McEnies Communications, which has been in existence for almost a decade, is an upwardly wholly company with vast expertise and competency in integrated marketing communications services providing top-notch solutions to big and medium firms across all sectors and industry. McEnies takes a holistic approach to marketing communications services and digital engagements. Its in-house expertise and services allow the company to offer agile, flexible and value-driven solutions for its clients. Narrating how the three companies were established, Olaosebikan stated that “McEnies Communications discovered the undisputed importance of visual

representation and maximally deploying technology to bear creativity within the industry for effective brand engagement. That led to the birth of Perfect Clicks Signature, a new definition of photography and video production. “Perfect Clicks Signature is a game-changing brand, passionate about creating delightful experiences for customers. It is a brand that renders premium photography, videography and cinematography, equipped with cutting edge technology and highly experienced experts. Under Ruby Models, we build children’s confidence and nurture their talents. We believe that’s one of the greatest gifts you could give a child. We do this through our talent coaching, technology and photographic skills. Ruby Models agency is a trusted modelling hub for kids. We work through various diverse needs for kids to be deployed for advertising, promotional and media needs for all forms of businesses and engagements”, she disclosed. Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Charles Ajibade, in his remark, applauded the vision of

the consummate communication expert, Olaosebikan for her passion and tenacity to help her clients meet their personal and business goals. “The focus on marketing in the future is going to be oneon-one customer relationships instead of a one-to-many massmarket approach. This is why businesses like McEnies Global Communications, Perfect Clicks Signature and The Ruby Models Company are primed for the future. Leveraging on these services will keep many smart companies at a competitive advantage.”, he urged. In the same vein, the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism in Oyo State, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated that the launch of McEnies Global Communications, Perfect Clicks Signature and The Ruby Models Company in Oyo State is a welcome development that would greatly help both individuals and businesses in the state. “In this age of technology, the world has become a global village where people can now communicate in real-time and to a large heterogeneous audience, hence the need to consult professionals for public relations,

advertising, digital marketing, photo and video production etc. These cross-solutions are what three companies are offering so it’s a one-stop-shop for smart business in need of these services in Nigeria”, he said. Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment & Commerce, Barr. Olasunkanmi Aremu Olaleye also commended the Group CEO of the company, Omolaraeni Olaosebikan, for launching the three businesses in Oyo State. According to him, “it would no doubt create jobs for the youths, contribute to the socio-economic development of the state and deliver premium services for residents”. Other dignitaries present at the grand opening include Jibola Ogunkeyede, MD/CEO, Ufitfly Worldwide; Hakeem Akintoye, Partner at Synergy Law Partnership; Charles Ajibade, Chairman of the occasion; Hon. (Mrs.) Folashade Ajala, Board Member of Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB); Chief Abimbola Davis, Chairman/CEO Capital 3 Limited and SI Salami, Senior Partner, SI Salami and Co amongst other guests.




DRTS raids illegal car wash, marts in Utako, Garki By Stanley Onyekwere


fficials of the FCT Directorate Road Traffic Secretariat (DRTS), yesterday raided illegal car wash and car marts operating on major road corridors within Garki and Utako axis of the Federal Capital City (FCC). In particular, the DRTS taskteam stormed and towed away vehicles from a notorious cluster of car marts on Pedestrian walkways in a busy neighbourhood near Nipost office in Area 10, Garki, Abuja. They also raided illegal mechanic workshops, opposite City park, Utako, illegal car wash behind Daily Trust office in Utako.

Equally, some Okada riders were arrested with their motorcycles impounded by the DRTS Taskteam, in Gudu area. Explaining the exercise, Head of DRTS Taskteam, Adamu Shehu Maiwada, they will do everything possible within their powers to ensure that between now and December there are no menace of illegal car marts, mechanic workshops and Okada riders in the Federal Capital City (FCC). “We are removing all the vehicles found within the illegal car marts in Area 10, because this is not the first time that we are coming to this place for enforcement. “We removed vehicles and we charged them to courts, still they

are operating in this particular place, but I promised them that no vehicle will be kept in this place again. “The FCT Minister is giving us all the support and full backing, as all the necessary machineries have been given to us to do our work without fear or favour, that is why any arrest that we make, the mobile court is there for us to try them accordingly. “We talked to them several times to desist from doing what they have been doing illegally”, he stressed. Similarly, Secretary, FCT Command and Control Centre, Peter Olumuji, reiterated that mechanic workshops supposed to

DRTS officials towing an SUV during the raid against illegal car marts in the FCC.

be in Apo Mechanic workshop and other designated places, not on the road shoulders along various streets of the nation’s capital city. “What we saw was that what we have as a walkway have been taken over by car wash, marts, mechanic workshop, so now they pushed Pedestrian to the highway , which is very risky thing. “And the illegal car marts operators should be willing to go to where car marts are along to operate along Kubwa expressways, but we will continue our enforcements. One of affected car dealers, operating a car mart situated at the pedestrian walkway and road shoulder in Area 10, Alhaji Hassan

Ahmed, who described the raid as unfortunate event, however admitted that they were illegally trading on the streets, which they have been subjected to several abatement notices and evictions over the years. According to him, “Yes, what we are doing is illegal, because that is the position of the government, and they came several times to evict us, but after sometimes when people (car dealers) come back, they (Government officials) don’t disturb us again. “As citizens , what we want government to do is to give us an alternative place, and we will have no basis of coming back here again.”

Vehicles on display at illegal car marts within a busy neighbourhood in Area 10, Garki, Abuja, yesterday.

Public Transportation: Minister inspects proposed ECO-friendly mass transit By Stanley Onyekwere


inister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has inspected the mass transit “Eco Green bus” being proposed for use in the FCT by a natural gas powered vehicle manufacturer, Austrian Technologies Nigeria Ltd, aimed ensuring improved public transportation in Abuja. Bello also used the occasion to reaffirm the commitment of the FCT Administration towards achieving zero carbon emission in the city by the year 2070. Stressing that Abuja was conceptualized to be a green city by at least 40 percent, the Minister said, the FCT Administration is committed to the

implementation of the pledge made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow for Nigeria to achieve Net-Zero Carbon emission by 2070. He also revealed that Abuja was part of a group of 6 nations from the northern and southern hemispheres committed to meeting the challenges of climate change and was also admitted as part of a research programme known as “Institute for Future cities” run by a university in the United Kingdom. He said “Abuja, being a new city, we have a lot of the fundamentals to be able to achieve zero carbon emission and that’s why they admitted us and then we are going to work towards seeing how we can eliminate and become carbon emission free before 2070”.

He however indicated the readiness of the FCTA to look closely at the proposal from Austrian Technologies Nigeria Ltd in a bid to see the possibilities for deployment. Earlier while explaining the functionalities of the proposed eco friendly mass transit bus, the Chief Executive Officer, of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr. Johann Rieger said the buses were equipped with gas engines of higher emission standards (Euro 5) with no toxin, smog or smoke which guaranteed reduced noise and lower fuel costs and had the capacity to carry about 100 passengers in peak hours. He added that the bus system also had other special features designed to reduce road fatalities, save fuel as well as reduce the cost of maintenance.

He also disclosed that his company plans to build a training school, using bus simulators that would allow drivers to be trained in a quiet classroom environment without burning fuel or blocking the roads while training. During the inspection tour, the FCT Minister along with other staff of the FCTA took a tour of the bus, asking relevant technical and financial questions. Also present at the event were the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, the MD Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company, Abdulrazak Oniyangi, Director Projects in the Hon Minister’s Office, Saka Isiaka Ahmed, Directors from the Transportation Secretariat and other FCTA top functionaries.



world news


Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey steps down as chief executive


witter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief executive of the company. He will be replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal, Twitter said. Mr Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, has been serving as CEO of both Twitter and payment firm Square. “It’s finally time for me to leave” he wrote in a statement, saying the company was “ready to move on.” Mr Dorsey said he had “deep” trust in his replacement. “I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead,” he said. Mr Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011, and has been the firm’s head of technology since 2017. ‘I love Twitter’ Twitter’s share price jumped slightly as rumours of his departure emerged. Trading of shares on the stock exchange was temporarily halted as a result, but has since resumed. News of Mr Dorsey’s departure was first reported by CNBC on Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Reuters news agency separately reported it had been told the same. On Sunday, Mr Dorsey tweeted, apparently unprompted: “I love Twitter.” I love twitte In a separate message to the official corporate statement, Mr Dorsey tweeted: “Not sure anyone has heard but I resigned from Twitter”. “There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founderled’. Ultimately I believe that’s severely

limiting and a single point of failure,” he wrote in an attached email he sent to staff. He added that he would leave the board after his term expires. “Why not stay or become chair? I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead.” In a way, Jack Dorsey typifies the Silicon Valley CEO. He’s a multi-billionaire - and has founded two hugely successful companies Twitter and Square. Yet he dresses in tie-dye t-shirts and sports a beard like a wizard. He’s a hippie at heart, with high ideals for how technology can change the world for good. He genuinely believes, for example, that Bitcoin has the ability to create “world peace”. And with Twitter, he certainly has changed the world. In particular it revolutionised how politicians communicate with voters - and how news is communicated with the public. Perhaps the best known user of Twitter was Donald Trump. The populist US president used the platform as a key way of bypassing traditional media. The decision to remove him from the platform after the Capitol Hill riots was undoubtedly the most controversial moment of Jack Dorsey’s time. The nature of his departure is also interesting. He is extricating himself from the company, even giving up his board seat. That’s very different to say, Jeff Bezos, who retains much influence at Amazon despite stepping down as boss earlier this year. Mr Dorsey claims this is his decision. But at a multi-billion dollar company,

there could well be more at play behind the scenes. He is in his mid-40s, and still has lofty ambitions to change the world. With his track record, he may well do so again. ‘Visionary leadership’ The 45-year-old co-founded the company with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass in 2006. Mr Dorsey has, however, become the face of the company, having sent the earliest tweets on the service and due to his long tenure as chief executive. He left the role of Twitter chief in 2008 and founded the digital payments app Square, which has also grown into a multibillion dollar company. However, he was brought back to helm Twitter in 2015 after then-chief executive Dick Costolo stepped down.

The role has seen him appear in televised inquiries before US politicians to be quizzed about his platform and its potential role in the spread of disinformation - something Twitter has been repeatedly accused of acting too slowly on in recent years. Like other social media sites it has also been accused of political bias on both sides of the US political divide. Calls for his departure came in 2020 from Elliott management, an investment firm which owns a significant amount of Twitter’s shares. The firm reportedly felt that a full-time chief executive with only one company to run would be better for Twitter’s fortunes. But the two sides later came to an agreement which saw Mr Dorsey remain in his post. Reacting to the news of Mr Dorsey’s resignation, Elliott said the new management team were “the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company”. The change in leadership comes alongside several other changes to Twitter’s board, including the appointment of Bret Taylor, an existing Twitter board member and veteran of Google and Salesforce, as the new chairman. “I want to thank Jack for his visionary leadership and unrelenting dedication to Twitter since its founding,” Mr Taylor said. “Jack returned to Twitter and turned the Company around at the most critical time. The progress since then has been nothing short of incredible. “Jack has given the world something invaluable and we will continue to carry it forward.”

US and Iran seek to break impasse at talks on reviving nuclear deal


ritical talks with Iran to prevent the collapse of a nuclear deal have resumed in Vienna after a five-month pause. Officials are discussing the possible return of the US to the 2015 accord, which limited Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. Iran has violated key commitments since then-President Donald Trump pulled out in 2018 and reinstated US sanctions. Joe Biden is willing to lift them if Iran reverses the breaches. But Iran wants the US to make the first move. Western diplomats have warned that time is running out to negotiate a solution because of the significant advances Iran has made in its uranium enrichment programme, which is a possible pathway to a nuclear bomb. Iran insists that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. The talks between Iran and the five countries still party to what is known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK - began in the Austrian capital in April, with US representatives participating indirectly. A senior US official told the New York Times last week that an agreement on which steps needed to be taken and when by Washington and Tehran was “largely complete” before the Iranian presidential election in June. Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner and strident critic of the West, won the race to succeed Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who negotiated the JCPOA with Barack Obama’s administration. Mr Raisi promised before taking office in

Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani says the West “needs to pay a price” for its actions

August that he would not to let the talks drag on, but he did not agree to return to Vienna until earlier this month. The Iranian foreign ministry has said it wants an “admission of culpability” from the US; the immediate lifting of all US sanctions; and a “guarantee” that no future US president will unilaterally abandon the deal again. “To ensure any forthcoming agreement is ironclad, the West needs to pay a price for having failed to uphold its part of the bargain,” Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, wrote in the Financial Times on Sunday. Mr Biden’s special envoy, Robert Malley, has said the US is prepared to take

all of the steps necessary to come back into compliance, including lifting the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration that crippled the Iranian economy. But he has also said the window for negotiations will not be open forever. “If Iran thinks it can use this time to build more leverage and then come back and say they want something better it simply won’t work. We and our partners won’t go for it,” he told the BBC on Saturday. Mr Malley warned Iran that if it was to “try to use the negotiations as cover for an accelerated nuclear programme and drag its feet at the nuclear table”, then the US would be forced to “respond in a way that is not our preference”.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, said on Monday that Iran was seeking “to end sanctions in exchange for almost nothing”, and urged world powers not to give into its “nuclear blackmail”. He has said Israel will not be bound by any deal and signalled his readiness to to take action to to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb. A major focus of the JCPOA was Iran’s production of enriched uranium, which is widely used as fuel for nuclear power plants but can also be used in nuclear weapons. Iran agreed to limits on the amount of the material that it could stockpile; the level of purity; the number and type of centrifuge machines that could be used to carry out enrichment; and the locations where it could take place. It began gradually breaching those restrictions in 2019 in retaliation for the sanctions reinstated by Mr Trump, who called the JCPOA “defective at its core” and wanted to compel Iranian leaders to negotiate a replacement. Iran has now amassed a stockpile of enriched uranium that is many times larger than permitted, including some that is 60% purity - a short technical step away from the 90% needed to make a weapon. It has also installed hundreds of advance centrifuges; resumed enrichment at previously-converted underground facility; and taken steps to produce enriched uranium metal, which is a key material in nuclear bombs. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have also had their access to Iranian nuclear facilities significantly curtailed. Source: BBC



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Covid Omicron: No need to panic, South Africa minister says


outh Africa’s health minister says there is “absolutely no need to panic” over the new coronavirus variant Omicron, despite a surge in cases. “We have been here before,” Joe Phaahla added, referring to the Beta variant detected in South Africa last December. South Africa also condemned the travel bans imposed on the country, saying they should be lifted immediately. Omicron has been classed as a “variant of concern”. Early evidence suggests it has a heightened re-infection risk. The heavily mutated variant was detected in South Africa earlier this month and then reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) last Wednesday. The variant is responsible for most of the infections found in South Africa’s most populated province, Gauteng, over the last two weeks. The number of cases of “appears to be increasing in almost all provinces” in the country, according to the WHO. South Africa reported 2,800 new infections on Sunday, a rise from the daily average of 500 in the previous week. Government adviser and epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim said he expected the number of cases to reach more than 10,000 a day by the end of the week, and for hospitals to come under pressure in the next two to three weeks. Dr Phaahla said he wanted to “reiterate that there is absolutely no need to panic” because this “is no new territory for us”. “We are now more than 20 months’ experienced in terms of Covid-19, various

variants and waves,” he added at a media briefing. On Monday, Japan became the latest country to reinstate tough border restrictions, banning all foreigners from entering from 30 November. The UK, EU and US are among those who earlier imposed travel bans on South Africa and other regional states. UN Secretary General António Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” about the isolation of southern Africa, adding that “the people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available in Africa”. The bans and restrictions have left the plans of a huge number of travellers up in the air. South African Annalee Veysey, who is getting treatment for cancer in South Africa, was expecting to be reunited with her family in the UK early in December. She has been separated from them for the last 15 months because of earlier travel restrictions and her treatment. “It’s almost two years of my life I’ve missed out with my family. Especially if you’ve had a journey with cancer, you find what your family means to you,” she told the BBC, adding that she felt “desperate”. Hannah Day is stuck in Pretoria. She flew to South Africa last week after she got news that her son, who lives there, was in hospital after being bitten by a snake. He is now recovering but Ms Day needs to return to the UK for work. “I can self-isolate, but I cannot afford to pay for the quarantine,” she told the BBC. The WHO has warned against countries hastily imposing travel curbs, saying they

The health minister says South Africa has enough experience to deal with the new variant should look to a “risk-based and scientific approach”. The world body’s Africa director Matshidiso Moeti said on Sunday: “With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity.” However, Rwanda and Angola are among African states that have announced a restriction on flights to and from South Africa. South Africa’s foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela described their decision as “quite regrettable, very unfortunate, and I will even say sad”. In a speech on Sunday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said the bans

would not be effective in preventing the spread of the variant. “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” he said. Current regulations in South Africa make it mandatory to wear face coverings in public, and restrict indoor gatherings to 750 people and outdoor gatherings to 2,000. Mr Ramaphosa said South Africa would not impose new restrictions, but would “undertake broad consultations on making vaccination mandatory for specific activities and locations”.

New Covid variant: Does southern Africa have enough vaccines?


he Omicron variant of Covid, first discovered in South Africa, is causing countries around the world to impose new restrictions and tighten their borders. The new strain is “no surprise”, says former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who added that the failure by richer countries to share vaccine doses is “coming back to haunt us”. So do countries in southern Africa have enough vaccines, and are they reaching the people who need them? How do vaccination rates compare? The global average is more than 100 doses per 100 people, and many richer countries have far exceeded that. But in South Africa, only 42 doses have been administered per 100 people. Elsewhere in the region, the rates are even lower. Lesotho has given out fewer than 30 doses per 100 people, and Namibia just 25. Is there enough supply? African countries have relied on a combination of bilateral deals, donations and the Covax vaccine-sharing scheme to get jabs rolled out. Earlier this year, countries struggled to get supplies via Covax, but the situation improved in July and August. Although the supply of doses to African countries has increased, the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) says donations so far have been “ad hoc, provided with little notice and short shelf lives”. This makes it extremely challenging for countries to plan vaccination campaigns, Gavi said in a recent statement. In South Africa, for example, last week the health ministry delayed the delivery of more vaccine doses because it had too much stock.

The country’s deputy director-general of the health department told Reuters news agency that South Africa had 16.8 million doses in stock. We have reported on several African countries having to throw away vaccine doses because they exceeded their expiry dates. Data provided by the Airfinity research project suggests that 384 million doses have been delivered to Africa for a population of more than 1.2 billion people. South Africa has had 32.5 million doses delivered, in a population of about 40 million adults. Botswana has had about 2.4 million doses delivered for a population of 2.3 million, and Namibia about one million for 2.5 million people. Why the low uptake? Uneven supply has clearly been a problem, but the fact South Africa has had to delay the delivery of doses suggests there is also something else going on. South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla suggests “fake news” is playing a role in making people - especially younger age groups - unsure about the vaccine. There is a lot of fear - sometimes driven by misinformation or a lack of good information - about the safety of the vaccine. Serious complications are extremely rare, based on evidence from wide-scale clinical trials and the billions already jabbed, and pale in comparison to the complications from Covid, even in younger people. Some of the claims circulating are outright false, but some are based on an element of truth - that you can still get Covid after being vaccinated, for example. Research in partnership with South Africa’s health department found this has led some people to believe vaccines don’t work.

Vaccination outreach programmes have been ramped up in South Africa But that’s not the case - you may still catch Covid, but for most people it will be far milder because the vaccine reduces symptoms, keeps people out of hospital and massively reduces deaths from the virus. Problems reaching more rural areas Fear of side effects and safety were identified as two of the biggest reasons people weren’t getting vaccinated. But the third was access, including the time it takes to travel to vaccination centres. In north-west South Africa, many people in rural communities don’t have easy access to vaccination sites, according to the report produced for the health department. There have also been issues with supply in certain areas, with sites running out of doses before they’ve vaccinated everyone who’s turned up to be jabbed. Sarah Downs, a researcher in vaccines

and infectious diseases at Wits University in Johannesburg, said there was “a lot more hesitancy than anti-vax rhetoric” in South Africa. And in some cases there were barriers to people being vaccinated, such as clinics not going out to where people are, or a misconception that they have to pay for the vaccine. Poor public transport in some areas has also made it more difficult and expensive for people to get to a clinic, she said. As an example of how these different factors can play out, a survey by the University of Johannesburg found white people were more vaccine-hesitant than black people, but white people were also more likely to have had the jab, possibly because of better access to healthcare. Source: BBC



e w s


By He Yang


hovels, brushes and tape measures are probably what one could think of when it comes to the tools of archaeologists. However, it’s not a difficult thing to see modern technologies being applied in China’s archaeological tasks nowadays. At the site of archaeological excavation for Wanjiao One, an ancient Chinese merchant ship that sank off the coast of Pingtan county, southeast China’s Fujian province, archaeologists were equipped with full-face rebreathers that put them on wireless communication with their colleagues both under and above the water. In the aquarium that houses the Nanhai No. 1 shipwreck, discovered 25 meters under the South China Sea in 1987 and salvaged 20 years later, remote sensing platforms can obtain data at millimeter level in a contactless, multi-angle and smart manner. Besides, at the Sanxingdui archaeological site in southwest China’s Sichuan province, on-site workshops have been built to better preserve cultural relics. The application of modern technologies has enriched the philosophy, methods and content of archaeology. It is also making archaeological missions safer, more precise, and more effective, broadening and deepening China’s archaeology cause to an unprecedented extent. The excavations of Sanxingdui have been carried out under the support of multiple disciplines, which mirrors the integration of modern technologies and archaeology. At the excavation site, there are many transparent glass houses that are designed to protect unearthed cultural relics. The temperature and humidity in these houses are fixed, and trusses and lifters are there to move the relics and for archaeologists to clean the relics in a contactless manner. China’s modern archaeology raised its curtain as relics were unearthed in the excavation of the Yangshao site in Chisheng county, central China’s Henan province a

r o m



China’s archaeology becomes more and more “tech-ish” hundred years ago. Today, remote sensing, as well as digital and smart technologies are widely applied in archaeological investigations, and new methods are being promoted one after another, such as 3D printing, aerial photography drones and DNA analysis. Be it under the earth or in the water, technologies are playing an increasingly important role in archaeological surveying, excavation, restoration, preservation, and researches. To trace the origins of cultural relics and civilizations and represent the glorious history is a special mission of archaeology. Today, with radiocarbon dating, we know ages of cultural relics, and with lead isotope geochemistry, we know origins of them. The broad and in-depth sci-tech application is enlarging the space of archaeological studies. Cultural relics are history in a perceptible form. To enhance people’s understanding of history and their respect for civilizations with cultural relics is an important part of the preservation and inheritance of cultural relics. For instance, the launch of the Digital Dunhuang resource database enables people around the world to enjoy the magnificent views of the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes with just clicks on their mouse, and a mini-program introducing the cultural heritage has so far received nearly 40 million visits. Besides, in Fuzhou Museum, Fujian province, a motion sensing system is launched to simulate an underwater archaeological site, so that visitors can have

Photo shows an on-site archaeological workshop established at the excavation site of Sanxingdui, southwest China’s Sichuan province. (Photo courtesy of the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute) better experiences. Digital technologies are constantly changing the ways of how cultural relics

are displayed, making people’s cultural life more splendid and offering a strong support for the protection of cultural relics.

Guangdong endeavors to help enterprises go global since inception of BRI By Li Gang, People’s Daily


ince the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), south China’s Guangdong province has been devoted to developing itself into a strategic hub, economic and trade cooperation center, and important engine of the BRI, and leveraging its advantage of being close to countries along the routes of the BRI in terms of geographical location and people-to-people relations to help local enterprises and brands go global. The province has seen a large number of projects, which involve small investment, yield quick results, and benefit people’s livelihood, take root in countries along the routes of the BRI. Since 2018, it has invested in nearly 3,000 projects overseas, among which over 94 percent come from private enterprises and more than 80 percent have an investment volume of less than $5 million. By promoting the establishment of overseas industrial parks and economic and trade cooperation zones, Guangdong has enabled enterprises to support each other in expanding overseas operations. The province’s first batch of seven provincial-level overseas economic and trade cooperation zones have attracted a total of 147 companies and a cumulative investment of about $1.74 billion, and generated over $3.83 billion of output value. They have

driven the import and export of about $1.4 billion worth of goods, and brought $72.55 million in tax revenue to host countries. The China-Vietnam (ShenzhenHaiphong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Vietnam has housed 28 high-tech enterprises, including Wolong Electric Group Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Sanhua Intelligent Controls Co., Ltd., and Zhongshan BroadOcean Motor Co., Ltd. The cooperation zone is expected to attract 30 to 40 companies and $1 billion of investment and create 20,000 to 30,000 jobs for local people in the first phase of the project by 2022. In May, Guangdong province published a document on its focus of work in participating in the BRI construction in 2021, aiming to promote the in-depth cooperation with countries and regions along the routes of the BRI. The document includes specific arrangements covering such aspects as deepening policy communication, optimizing integrated transportation system, boosting international industrial capacity cooperation, enhancing the capability to provide financing support and financial services, facilitating people-to-people connectivity in various fields, and improving service guarantee mechanism. Meanwhile, seizing the opportunity of the construction of the GuangdongHong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the province will join hands with China’s special

administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao to promote overseas operations of local enterprises and strive for tangible and solid outcomes of the BRI construction, powering up enterprises in exploring overseas markets. Recently, a China-Europe freight train carrying a batch of liquid crystal display panels and electronic components required for the production in the factory of Chinese multinational electronics company TCL Technology in Poland left Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, for Malaszewicze in Poland. It is expected to arrive in its destination 15 days after its departure. With the new China-Europe freight train route linking Guangzhou and Malaszewicze launched in April this year, the factory of the Guangdong-based company in Poland has gained another convenient transportation line, said an executive of the factory. Taking advantage of the BRI and China-Europe freight train services, TCL Technology has made the factory in Poland the central link of its European industrial chain and managed to cover all regions on the European continent with its smart terminal products, services and solutions, according to the executive. Guangdong Vanward New Electric Co., Ltd., a leading Chinese gas water heater manufacturer headquartered in Foshan city, Guangdong province, has quickened its pace to promote its self-owned brands in overseas

markets. The company opened its first overseas experience store in the central business district in Azerbaijan in 2017 and its first experience store in Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, one year later. In 2019, the company set up its Russian subsidiary. In recent years, the company’s export performance has improved continuously. Its gas water heaters and gas stoves have outperformed similar products in the industry in terms of export volume for many years and have been sold to nearly 90 countries around the world. Gree Electric Appliances Inc., China’s leading home appliances manufacturer based in Zhuhai city of Guangdong province, has realized localized production in Lahore, Pakistan. With its annual output of air conditioners exceeding 300,000, Gree’s production base in Lahore once increased the company’s market share in Pakistan to more than 30 percent, significantly improving the awareness and reputation of the brand. Well-known Chinese footwear maker Huajian Group headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong province, has built a production base in Ethiopia. Within merely three month, the production base was completed and put into operation. The production base has greatly increased the export volume of local leather products and effectively promoted the development of the local economy.






Calais activists: Migrants call us from boats asking for help


ust outside Grande-Synthe to the west of Dunkirk lies the encampment. Scores of tents straddle a railway track and curve around by a canal, wedged in between a main road and an industrial estate. People have come from all over the world to be here - searching for a way to cross the Channel and start a new life in the UK. There is a whole community of people whose lives are bound up with these migrants on their doorstep. Eve-Marie Dubiez, a local to the area, is one of half a dozen volunteers doling out sandwiches and hot chocolate on Friday morning. Her group provides breakfast here twice a week, armed also with rain ponchos, socks, and sometimes shoes, when they can get them. She is confident there will be a solution to the migrant crisis in northern France. “But these are the ones paying the price for the moment,” she says, gesturing to the people collecting food from her colleagues. Eve-Marie has spent the last 15 years working in camps like these. She says police regularly move people on, demolishing camps or pushing people further along the coast. “Everybody wants to get rid of them one way or the other,” she says. “Smugglers don’t help,” she adds. “They’re not the reason for this mess, but they take advantage.” For decades, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in north-east France has played host to thousands. Some in Calais see the migrants as at best a nuisance, and at worst a menace. In 2016 anti-Islamic demonstrators clashed with police in a protest against them; today, you can find posters for Marine Le Pen’s farright National Rally party in the city, calling for “Zero immigration”. Ms Le Pen is one of several MPs from her party elected in this region. Immigration is already shaping up to be a key issue in France’s 2022 presidential election, with many demanding tighter controls. Michel Barnier, the former EU Brexit negotiator, is running for the right-wing Republicans party and has vowed to crack down on immigration. But away from the politics, the human faces of this crisis are found all across this city and the surrounding area. Ali Omar (not his real name) has been in Calais for three months. He says he fled Sudan after the Janjaweed militia, now known as the Rapid Support Forces, tried to kill him. “For me, it’s about the language,” he says when asked why he wants to come to the UK. “I face a lot of difficulty integrating with people here.” But even after the deaths of 27 people in the Channel last week, Ali Omar remains undeterred. “I will keep trying to go to the UK,” he insists. That attitude shows the need for change, Marguerite Combes says. The 22-year-old is the Calais coordinator for Utopia 56, a French association set up in 2016 to give legal and practical support to migrants. Her group regularly receives calls from people as they cross the Channel, looking for help from any number they have as their flimsy boats sink. The organisation also arranges burial plots and funerals for those

who die en route, as well as repatriation of bodies for bereaved families. Marguerite remembers one group of five three weeks ago who attempted the crossing in a kayak. Only two made it back to France alive, with a third lying dead at the bottom of their small vessel. “They spent something like 27 hours on the boat,” she says. The body of a fourth member was later found on a beach near Wissant, west of Calais. “We buried him Wednesday morning. It was a really big story, also for the people who stayed alive because they saw three of their friends dying.” Just hours later, news came through of the 27 who died. She tells me if she could say one thing to the government in the UK, it’s that all tightening borders does is encourage people to “take more risk”. “The only ones who won’t arrive in the UK are the ones who die in the Channel,” she says. Marguerite also criticises the French authorities. While she dismisses suggestions France isn’t doing enough to try to stop the crossings - calling it a “huge effort” from police - she argues the authorities should build shelters, give out food, and allow people the chance of a life. “Welcome people with dignity to the EU,” she says. “Not only an administrative welcome, not just giving them papers, but giving them language lessons, give them a place [and a chance] to go to school, to work, to have a driving licence.” Father Philippe Demeestère agrees on the need for practical change. On Saturday night migrants and locals have gathered at his dinner table in his home in the north of the city. The evening before, volunteers from the Refugee Community Kitchen gave out generous portions of pasta to groups of young men gathered just outside, chatting and laughing in the November cold. In recent months Father Philippe became known across France after starting a hunger strike to protest against the destruction of migrant camps as winter draws in. He managed 25 days, while his two fellow demonstrators, Anaïs Vogel and Ludovic Holbein, stayed without food for 38 days each. “I was never hungry - I was very fine with it. It was something very ordinary,” the 72-year-old says as he chews peanuts before the meal begins. Father Philippe Demeestère went on hunger strike for 25 days this year Over the phone Anaïs is angry about how authorities responded to their strike opening up a shelter for 300 people in the city. “At the time there were 1,500 people [living] outside. So, okay, it’s 300 people less in the street for one night but it’s nothing. And when we stopped the hunger strike they closed this place,” she says. But the response from locals was overwhelming, she says. They came to the church daily to discuss the situation with the hunger strikers. “They feel really sad. They have this feeling that they don’t know what to do,” she says. She and her partner Ludovic only moved to Calais this year but have now set up their own aid group to help those who come here. “We didn’t know the situation about Calais. We said, let’s stay for a few days. And now it’s nine months later,” she says.

A local support group gives out breakfast at a migrant camp west of Dunkirk

Eve-Marie Dubiez has worked at these camps for 15 years

Marguerite Comes and her group are one of several aid organisations working from a warehouse outside Calais Ludovic shares her frustration with the government. “They apply the same solution for 30 years now, and the solution doesn’t change anything,” he says. The 38-year-old believes that many of the people now trying to reach the UK didn’t plan to when they first arrived in Europe but after years of sleeping rough decide the UK is the only option. “Europe doesn’t accept them, doesn’t offer them a real life with the possibility to

have a good job and to rent a flat,” he says. For him, this is not an abstract debate there need to be practical measures to stop people making the dangerous sea crossing, which are continuing even during the riskier winter months. “It’s not about, what do you think about the migrant situation?” he says. “People are here now. We cannot let people die.” Source: BBC









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WTT Championship: I gave my heart and soul, but it was not meant to be – Aruna Quadri By Amaechi Agbo


runa Quadri, Africa’s number one ranked tennis player have disclosed that he gave his “heart and soul” to reach the final of the ongoing 2021 World Table Tennis Championship in Houston, Texas, USA. However, the Bundesliga Tennis League player expressed disappointment that he could not reach the target. Quadri on Saturday became the first African tennis player to reach the World Table Tennis Championship quarterfinal where he lost 4-2 to Sweden’s Truls Moregard in the quarter finals on Sunday morning. The 13th seed on Friday saw off another Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson in the round of 16 to book a place in the last 8. Reacting to the historic feat, the TTC RhönSprudel Maberzell Fulda player said despite losing out in the quarterfinal, the future is bright for Nigerian and African tennis growth.Quadri lost 4-2 against Moregard in the quarter-final on Sunday “I think I did very well,” Quadri responded when asked about his impression with his performance at the World Championship. “I gave my heart and soul but the last match was not meant to be. Everything is ok.” On what went wrong in his quarterfinal match against Moregard, Quadri said that the loss of first two sets gave his opponent the upper hand “The first two sets were very important. We started 50-50. In the first set I was 10-8, I lost. Second set almost same margin, I lost. “These first two sets were very important and they made the difference but he played amazingly,” he told ITTF media.

Aruna Quadri On his feat as first African to reach the quarter-final, Quadri said it would motivate his fellow players in his country Nigeria and the African continent to do better than him. “It will motivate them (other African tennis players). When Tori Ola got to

Round 32 in the Olympics Games, it motivated a lot of us. So I was in quarterfinal in Rio. “Omar Assar, were motivated and excited. He did the same in Tokyo. Now what I did here, I am very sure, Omotayo or Iba or Omar Assar can even do better.

We are all excited. He described United States of America as a good country everyone would want to go to. “Everyone wants to be in America, it is a very good country. Playing here is amazing and almost everyone is happy to be here,” he stated.

Marylove, Amadike emerge Champions of ITF World Tennis J5 Tour


igeria’s number one, Marylove Edwards and Nigeria-born Canadian, Chitanna Nwadike has emerged champions in the second leg of the ITF World Tennis J5 Tour decided on Sunday at the National Tennis Complex of MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. Marylove Edwards, seeded number one

and 394 on the ITF list, thrashed Egypt’s Joody Elkady seeded number two and 994 on the ITF list, in two straight 6-1, 6-4 to win the girl’s singles title in front of home fans. Nwadike, seeded tournament number eight and 1716 on the ITF ranking list, defeated unseeded Muktar Andu from Great Britain (who is 1955 on the ITF list), in two

straight 6-3, 6-3 lift the boys’ title in grand style. It should be noted that, Emmanuel Michael and Marylove Edwards were the boys and girls’ singles champions during the first leg of the tournament. Meanwhile, duo of Amadike Chetanna and Ekpenyong David outlasted promising

Gradin Harrison and Jimoh Franklin 6-4,61 to be crowned champions in the boy’s doubles event in grand style. While the pair of Marylove Edwards and Romi Cohen emerged champions in the girl’s doubles event after their 6-3,6-3 victory over the duo of Joody Elkady and Josephine Yakubu on Saturday.

Osimhen set for surgery, out of action for a month

PG30 >>>PG31






Waldrum praises NFF as Falcons round off training camp in Abuja By Amaechi Agbo


ead Coach Randy Waldrum has commended the Nigeria Football Federation for its continued total support for the country’s Senior Women National Team as the Super Falcons were set to round off a 9-day training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja. The training camp that commenced on Monday last week would come to an end on Tuesday. “I am very delighted with the support the Federation has always given to the team; this has helped our work. I am happy we had this training camp as we were able to see the home-based players and the overseas-based, and everyone bonded very well. It has been a marvelous experience and the joy among the players is palpable. “We will look to have periodic campings like this in order to be able to put forward the best of Nigeria women players for matches and championships at any time.” General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who received the players and their officials at the NFF Secretariat, said the football –governing body will always ensure to provide the Falcons with the best conditions to train and play friendly and competitive matches, in order to do the nation proud each time. “We will set aside resources to organize more of this type of camping so that we will always get the best from home and abroad and blend them to perform at optimal level when the need arises. We are aware of the challenge that Cote d’Ivoire will pose when we confront them for a place at next year’s Women AFCON. We need players who are committed and are proud to dorn the country’s colours and will strive to deliver no matter the circumstances. “Football is the strongest unifying force in our country, as you can all attest given the diversity in your camp. We have players who are home –based, some overseas –based and some that are visiting the country of their birth for the first time! I believe it is a very interesting and pleasurable experience for those who are in the country for the first time ever.” Veteran defender Onome Ebi, who spoke on behalf of the players, said the pain of being eliminated from the qualifying series for the Tokyo Olympics

Super Falcons in training on Saturday in Abuja by the Ivorians is yet to fully subside. “I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series. This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my team mates.” Also at the occasion were NFF’s Director of Finance & Admin, Mr Charity

Kadiri; Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire and; Director of Competitions, Ruth David. Injured forward Desire Oparanozie, of Dijon FC of France was replaced by Sweden –based Anam Imo at the training camp. This year, the Super Falcons have played at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya, participated at the USWNT Summer Series in the USA, had a training camp in Austria and played at the 1st

Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament. The Super Falcons will confront the Ivorians in a home-and-away final elimination fixture for the 12th Women AFCON slated for Morocco in the summer of next year. Both legs of the fixture will take place in the month of February. It is at the Women AFCON in Morocco that Africa’s flagbearers at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand will emerge.

NBBF congratulates D’Tigers after strong FIBA World Cup qualifying start By Amaechi Agbo


he Nigeria Basketball Federation has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches. With 5 points from a possible 6 and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the

next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022. The NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’ stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers. “It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is

very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians”. “We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.

16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda. The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over.






Rivers Angels CAF WCL Exit: We will learn from our mistakes - Edwin Okon By Amaechi Agbo


ivers Angels coach, Edwin Okon have said that the experience they garnered in the maiden edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League in Egypt will come in handy when the club will participate in the next edition Okon who spoke during the post match press briefing after they thrashed Vihiga Queens of Kenya 4-0 in the last Group B match of the Champions League on Saturday, bemoaned their first two losses “It was not useful for us to keep thinking about the last two losses, so we moved on and prepared well for the game”. “We are champions in where we come from. We’ll prepare for the next tournament and learn from our mistakes”, he said. Both Rivers Angels and Vihiga crashed out of the competition after the other group B match between ASFAR FC and Mamelodi Sundowns ended in a barren draw. Mamelodi Sundowns qualified as top of Group B to the semifinals along with ASFAR in second place after a 0-0 draw, while Rivers Angels won their first 3 points in the group stage in a 4-0 win over

Rivers Angels in action against Vihiga Queens of Kenya on Saturday Vihiga Queens, and they both said farewell to the tournament. At Al Salalm Stadium, the barren stalemate gave Mamelodi Sundowns top spot

on 7 points, three more than ASFAR. After a goalless first half, Kechukwu Obianujuwan Vivian scored the first two

goals from two penalties for Rivers Angels, then Koku Iyabo Oluwadamilola added the third goal before Monday Gift scored the fourth and last goal.

The win meant Rivers Angels and Vihiga Queens both finished the group on 3 points and were eliminated.

NBBF Crisis: FIBA rejects sports Minister’s Super 8 League, to ban Nigeria By Amaechi Agbo


orld Basketball governing body, Federation of International Basketball Association, FIBA has rejected the ongoing Nigeria Basketball League Super 8 organised by the Ministry of youth and sports even as it has set aside November 18 to take a decision to ban Nigeria from international basketball competitions FIBA’s actions emanated from the ongoing crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF following the expiration of the tenure of the former board led by Musa Kida NBBF was thrown into crisis following the constitution of a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the federation in May this year. However, crisis had engulfed the federation culminating in basketball players accusing the former president of the federation, Musa Kida of high-handedness and failure to pay them their entitlements, the committee was disbanded in October. The election into the board earlier slated to hold on October 30, 2021 was suspended indefinitely by the sports ministry.

However, FIBA has written to the NBBF through its former President, Musa Kida in a letter dated November 10, 2021 threatening to ban Nigeria from basketball competitions internationally setting aside November 18 as the decision day The letter signed by FIBA president, Hamare Niang to the NBBF in which Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC was copied also noted that the global basketball body would not recognise any competition organised by a third party other than the NBBF. In the letter, FIBA noted that the Ministry of Sports had on three different occasions communicated with them informing them of the postponement of the NBBF elections, organisation of NBBF Premier League and making arrangements on preparing D’Tigers for the FIBA World Cup qualifier in November. FIBA said the actions taken by the Ministry of Sports are against Article 9.7 of its General Statute. The letter stressed that FIBA will not recognise the outcome of the ongoing NBBF League aimed at providing champions that will represent Nigeria at the Basketball African League (BAL). FIBA directed that the protracted elections into the NBBF board should be

held on or before November 30, 2021. The letter, reading in parts, says “On 20 October, 2021 FIBA received a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development informing about the postponement of NBBF elections initially scheduled to take place in 30 October, 2021. ”On November 5, 2021 FIBA received a copy of communication from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development assuming the organizational responsibilities of the NBBF Premier League. “As you’re aware, under Article 9.7 of the FIBA General Statute, National Member Federation (NMF) must manage their affairs independently without the influence of third parties and ensure that their officials are elected or appointed under a democratic process . Also Article 9.1, NMF must maintain full control and governance of basketball in their country without limitation,” it said. The letter further warned that, “Please, be advised that FIBA will not recognize any competition or result stem from an event not controlled by the NBBF. Furthermore, our letter to the Ministry of Sports expects that the NBBF celebrates

its Electoral Congress no later than November 30. “The current situation will be brought to the attention of FIBA Central Board in its next meeting on November 18, 2021 to determine any other cause of action as per FIBA General Statute and Internal Regulations.” However, the sports ministry showed no regard to the letter as it commenced the Super 8 Basketball League in Abuja, two days after receiving FIBA’s correspondence.

Nigeria’s D’tigress players

. . . putting the people first



Didier Drogba “worried” over Salah’s records in EPL

Child rapists on the loose “Man jailed 12 years for raping minors aged seven years and five years” “6 year-old raped to death in Kaduna, dumped in cemetery” “Farmer rapes minor to death in Ondo, lured her with N100” “Police arrest Nigerian Professor for allegedly raping minor in Ebonyi” “11,200 Nigerian women, children raped in 2020 – UN”.



ormer Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has admitted he is worried that ex-Blues player Mohamed Salah is going to break his current goalscoring records. Speaking to Mehwar TV, Drogba said: “If he continues, he’s going to destroy all my records - I want to cry!’ The pair were teammates during the 2014/15 season at Stamford Bridge, during Drogba’s second period at the club. Even though they never got to play together for long, the Ivorian remembers their time together at Cobham. “When you look at the squad we had at the time, it was not easy to play,” said Drogba. “But what really got me attached to Mo is that he’s really nice, he’s really polite. “Even when he was not playing, he was sad not to contribute, but he was always in good spirits,” Salah left and joined AS Roma before finding his way back into the Premier League with Liverpool. He has since become one of the most feared forward in world football, breaking Premier League records along the way. He is currently the highestscoring African player in the league’s history, beating Drogba’s record that stood at 104 goals. The Egyptian is also closing in on Drogba’s goal-scoring record in the Champions League. Drogba is the highest-scoring African in the competition, with 36 goals with Salah only five goals away matching the feat. Tayefrom Taiwo and Oduamadi



bove are samples of newspaper headlines that point to a new fad among men and increasing menace for the Nigerian society. The United Nations say some 11, 200 Nigerian women, children were raped last year. Certainly the figure is much more than that because we live in a traditional society where women are to be seen, not heard. Many rape cases are never reported to appropriate authorities; instead they are treated as ‘family matters’ except in extreme cases where they cannot be brushed under the carpet. Such extreme cases include rape of minors as young as seven years and below as well as consequent death of such children. Increasingly we are seeing more and more children being sexually assaulted by apparently disoriented men. What the attraction is one cannot really decipher. Increasingly too, many kids are dying through rape because their feeble bodies can hardly withstand such assaults generally, especially when the abuse is continuous. Another observation is that it is not a one- off incident, that is, the rapists often indulge in their despicable behavior with same victims serially, further confirming that they are perverts. A third observation from perusing these statistics is that our justice system is still rather slow. The man jailed 12 years for raping two children in the first quoted instance, was brought to book years after his arraignment. And the case of Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje is still in court. Recall that #Justice for Ochanya trended for weeks in 2018. She is the 13 year-old girl

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Tuesday Column

By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO vikeano@yahoo.co.uk 08033077519 who eventually gave up the ghost due to a medical condition called Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) and other related complications that were the result of years of serial sexual abuse of her allegedly by father and son from age nine! You can well imagine the emotional and physical pains that children that are raped to death had to go through. In addition other children that ‘survive’ such sexual battering are denied the joys of childhood. Then arises the question, who are these sexual perverts that are now prowling about our country, north, west, south and east? For, raping of minors has become so commonplace in our society that hardly a week passes without it being reported in the media. This appears to be the new pastime(sexually abusing under aged persons) of these deviants in our society. They certainly are people who are dead within, deaf to their conscience and without any grain of love whatsoever. A minor with his/her child-like innocence should elicit in any true human being the urge to protect him/her, not to harm him/her in any way, not least in a violent and unrelenting manner as crude rape, serially. They are people from the nether region, the underworld whose s propensity for evil defines their personality. Should you ask these deviants why they did such a thing, they invariably blame the

“devil” for their despicable acts. The so-called devil has become a convenient alibi for them but it is no excuse. If you ask me, they were very much aware of what they were doing. Let us even assume that the so-called devil put the evil idea into their heads, what did they do to resist it? Did they pray to the good Lord for the strength to overcome? They willingly succumbed to their weaknesses without a second thought. Also, these obviously ‘insane’ men give the impression that they were tempted by the sight of the minors. Pray, how can a girl-child who has not fully developed the characteristics of a woman become attractive to these men as to have sex with them? The sexual instinct has not yet set in in these children, so they remain innocent children as regards that matter, oblivious of sex matters. You can argue that in these days of information explosion – online and on air – children now become aware of these issues at a much earlier age. Yet, the point remains that these children did not lure or tempt these men in any way. They were not near nude by wearing provocative dresses that set these ‘mad’ men’s imagination running wild. Even if they were, what is there to attract them in a girl child whose outward physical appearance is as yet almost the same as that of a boy?

The sexual instinct has not yet set in in these children, so they remain innocent children as regards that matter, oblivious of sex matters. You can argue that in these days of information explosion – online and on air – children now become aware of these issues at a much earlier age

On the contrary, they are the ones who usually lure these children that are not yet aware of the wiles of the world in terms of beguilement and cunning. Children deal with the world and human beings in a straightforward manner. Thus, in their child-like world view, the thought hardly occurs to them that uncle, brother, daddy or grandpa can do any bad thing to them. They take advantage of their child-like innocence in which is embedded trust and obedience to deceive them into entering the privacy of their closets to have carnal knowledge of them. After their dirty act, they usually warn the girls not to reveal what happened to anyone, threatening them that they would die if they did. And the children believe these men because in their child-like world, adults do not tell lies. But the deed cannot be hidden for long. It somehow comes to the fore. If these deviant men are really hard pressed to satisfy their sexual urge, could they not go after a consenting female adult? At worst, they could contract one at any of the red light districts. In this digital age their services are a phone call away. This is not to say that I approve of prostitution. Why they prefer to harm and spoil these un spoilt children rather than seek out fellow adult females for their sexual gratification is baffling. The only explanation is that they are arrant deviants, sexual perverts.


Alleged forged signature: Court remands oil coy GMD in prison till Jan 24 – News

With hard labour!

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